Increased Traffic Taking Toll on Drivers in NW Suburbs
This week CCX News is airing a three-part transportation series titled “Barrels, Brake Lights and Cone Zones: A Road Report.”
In Part One we explore how residents in the northwest suburbs cope with the frustration of driving in traffic jams – which many drivers say has become the new norm in the Twin Cities. Many of them think the gridlock is getting worse.
“Yeah. I think it is,” said Dave, who drives for North Ridge Transportation. “It’s getting more congested.”
Brake lights and clogged freeways have commuters seeing red, while cone zones and barrels turn roads into an ocean of orange.
“It makes the roads really congested,” said Michael Asamoah of Minneapolis. “It’s hard to know which ones are open, which ones are closed because we’re not informed what is being worked on, when it’s being worked on, or how soon it’s gong to be done.”
Coping with Traffic Jams
So how should frustrated drivers deal with gummed up highways? How do they cope with epic traffic jams? How so they stay calm, cool and composed on the highways?
“I put on some rap music, like Cheap Keith,” said Ryan Bender of Crystal. “I’ll just roll up the windows and start banging. Try to forget about the traffic.”
“Plan ahead of time,” says Madisun Van Gundy,” a spokesperson for AAA Minneapolis. “Allow yourself extra time to get to and from work so that you’re not getting frustrated sitting in traffic, especially if you’re in a rush.”
Experts say it is crucial that drivers chill out and go with the flow.
“If you’re sitting in traffic and you’re getting frustrated do what you can to try and keep your emotions in check,” Van Gundy said.
“I just take my time,” says Asamoah. “I’m usually late to where I am trying to go. But, it’s better than an accident.”
Road rage can be real. The key is to stay calm when your speed is reduced to a crawl. Don’t let things reach a boiling point.
“If you find yourself in a situation where another driver is acting aggressively towards you, do what you can to just avoid contact,” Van Gundy said. “Do not engage the other driver because you never know what’s going to set them off even more and in a worst case scenario and you feel very threatened, pick up your phone and call 911.”
Another tip for drivers is don’t tailgate the person in front of you.
“Try to allow for at least a little bit of space when you are in bumper to bumper traffic,” Van Gundy said. “If you’ve got a long commute it’s okay to put on a podcast or a little bit of music just to help keep you entertained and not getting bored or frustrated with the traffic.”
In Part Two of the series CCX News looks at how traffic jams impact business.