Dallas is the ninth largest city, population-wise, in the United States. With that many people in such a small area, it’s sure to grow hectic at times. Those who aren’t used to big city driving might call local motorists aggressive, but when you’re trying to get somewhere in Dallas, the less assertive you are, the more likely you are to cause an accident. So how do visitors survive the cluttered roadways?
Know the Lay of the Land
Buy a map of Dallas or look one up on Google Maps before you venture into the city. Residents know where they’re going, and they’re in a hurry to get there. If you are heading up Central Expressway during peak traffic time and don’t know if you’re supposed to veer east or west on 635, no GPS in the world can help you get to the correct lane in time. You might as well take a deep breath and catch a U-turn after the next exit.
Check Out Closures Before Heading Into Town
On any given day, there is construction going on. Since ice and sleet aren’t a major factor, work on roadways can be completed any time of the year. Therefore, the best way to dodge traffic jams is to check closures in advance. Channel 5 offers a traffic map that they update frequently. Also, the Waze app utilizes the community to document problems on roadways, so a passenger in a vehicle 30 miles south can alert other motorists of a two-by-four in the middle of the Interstate 35E entrance ramp.
Avoid Traveling in Rush Hour
Even though the streets in this metropolis are normally bustling, they turn into parking lots from 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. People rush to arrive at work on time or eagerly dart home. So, avoid those hours when masses of vehicles fill the roadways.
Avoid the Freeways
Taking the side streets is beneficial, especially during the holiday season when festive decorations fill trees and courtyards. In addition to reminding you of all the beautiful sights in the area, avoiding the freeways makes for a more peaceful drive. Select a radio station to your liking (there are tons to choose from), and embrace a longer but less fierce travel to your destination. You might even get a whiff of the ham and cheese muffins coming from J.D.’s Chippery as you drive down Hillcrest and stop to delight in the most amazing cookies west of the Mississippi River.
Take the Dallas North Tollway
When all else fails, pay the fee to access the toll road. This is a cashless venture. Cameras take a picture of your plates if you don’t have a Texas toll tag, and you receive a bill in the mail. Keep in mind this thoroughfare might be just as crowded as the other freeways, especially if there are road closures or it’s a Friday afternoon.
Essentially, if you want to travel in Dallas, pack your patience. Although the people are lovely there, the traffic is something else. Still, don’t get too distressed about aggressive drivers that you forget to soak in all there is to offer in Texas’s third most populated city.