Don't let NoVA traffic put a stop to your adventures.
An eclectic food scene, a variety of malls for every type of shopper, and nightmarish traffic patterns that change every hour. Some things are just synonymous with living in Northern Virginia. Luckily as a resident of the area, I have learned a thing or two about how to navigate the horrid traffic here. It’s about time I shared my pro tips and somewhat unconventional methods on surviving NoVA traffic.
Leave Your House Early
One of the best methods of surviving NoVA traffic is to hit the road before everyone else does. While it may be a huge pain to leave home early, remember that living in the city requires you to work smarter—not harder. Bring along things that will keep you productive, including your laptop, homework, or a book so that when you do arrive at school or work earlier than intended, you have a cushion of time to work on things that need to get done and that you can probably complete before you get back home.
Rewind Those Clocks
It is amazing how big of a difference 10 minutes can make. By reversing all your clocks behind by 5 to 10 minutes, you will automatically be buying yourself some room for when you are getting around town. Never underestimate the false sense of security you give yourself when you say you are going to leave your home right on the hour. I can’t begin to tell you how many times my extra 10 minutes came in handy because of bumps in the road (pun intended) like needing to stop for gas or not finding a parking spot on time.
Never Trust a Traffic Pattern
Surviving NoVA traffic requires you to be flexible and adaptive. There is always new construction and there are always Silly Nellies who get into totally avoidable fender-benders. Because of the unexpected nature of NoVA traffic, you can never fully trust a traffic pattern. Be aware of changing speed limits, detours, and closures. To help you better with this tip, you need to be able to adapt (hence, the next tip).
Switch Up Your Commute Route
“Can you see the sunset good from the west side? ... You can see it from the east side, too.— Stacie Holzberger (@sholzberger) October 13, 2019
“Thanks, Ponyboy, you dig okay.”#theoutsiders #weseethesamesunset @se4realhinton pic.twitter.com/So5WrzALp0
Regular commuter Stacie Holzberger can tell you all about finding a new path to where you need to go. Chances are you have probably figured out the best route to get to and from your home and work or school. But in the event of a traffic jam, fender-bender, or a detour, you need to know backup routes, backroads, and alternate exits that can keep you moving without getting stuck. The best way to learn it all is to switch up your commuter route every now and then so that you have a better understanding of traffic patterns on other roads. GPS systems are great, but you want to use them in conjunction with your road knowledge. The best part about switching up your commute? You will find views other than the pesky traffic.
Take Advantage of the Metro
If you live in NoVA, then you have been blessed by the burden of non-stop construction on the expanding Metro. The Metro is there for a reason, so use it. Commuting via Metro can significantly cut your commute time, especially if you live and work in areas where you have access to stops. Not only that but commuting with the Metro can save your wallet a pretty penny on unnecessary car maintenance and toll road fees.
There are plenty of carpool options available in the area that were designed specifically to help you with surviving NoVA traffic. If possible, link up with co-workers, classmates, and colleagues to figure out a carpool schedule that works with all your needs. The HOV lanes on highways and toll roads were designed specifically for carpool riders. Not only will you be zipping past traffic, but your commute time will be significantly more pleasant thanks to the company.
Make Your Ride as Comfortable as Possible
If you must endure NoVA traffic, then use this time to pamper yourself. This alone time on the road can be perfect for reflection, self-enrichment through podcasts and audiobooks, and of course, time to rock out with a great playlist. There are plenty of Bluetooth transmitters you can purchase to connect your smartphone to your car sound system. If you happen to be in the market for a new car, there are a variety of cars that offer comfort features such as Bluetooth connectivity, XM satellite radio, and other game-changing comfort and safety features. Top-of-the-line new and used car dealers such as Beyer Volvo have a variety of vehicles that can make your NoVA commute as comfortable as can be.
What about commuting in and around NoVA drives you the nuttiest? Let us know in the comments below and feel free to share your secrets in surviving NoVA traffic. Don't forget to share these tips with someone who needs them!