How To Avoid Traffic Jams This Weekend

As you are no doubt aware, Super Bowl 51 will be taking place in Houston this Sunday, and there are a ton of other pre-game events going on all weekend. Entertainment options abound for all tastes and interests in all parts of our fair city. MMA fights, carnivals, concerts, and parties are drawing big crowds long before kickoff, and tons of out of towners have flocked here for the Super Bowl and related events who aren’t used to our highway system or particular style of driving. That means traffic delays are going to be a major inconvenience, whether you’re trying to get to that Bruno Mars concert, watching the big game at your favorite watering hole, or just need to run out to the grocery store. Luckily, we’ve got your back! Here’s a little advice to avoid the worst of the Super Bowl traffic this weekend.

Do Your Research

Road closures (particularly in and around downtown) abound, but you can plan your route ahead by checking Houston TranStar for specific road closure hours and details. It’s safe to assume that if you’re getting anywhere near Discovery Green, the Toyota Center, George R. Brown Convention Center, or Reliant Center, you’re going to have to detour around some roads closed for pedestrian traffic. If you can plan your travel so that you’re on the roads outside of peak times, do so. Know what events are going to take place in areas of town you have to go to, and estimate what time the majority of the people going there will be arriving.

Choose Outlying Entertainment Options

Planning a hot date? You’d be better off picking a dinner or cocktail venue outside of the downtown bubble, even if you are really craving something from Hearsay. Unless you are specifically trying to get to one of the Super Bowl-adjacent special events, your best bet is not trying to get anywhere close to one of them. Pick a different restaurant, bar, movie theatre, etc in a less-congested part of town, just this once.

Leave Early

Whether you are taking your own car, Uber, or public transit, it’s going to take you longer than usual to get where you’re going, so make sure to leave in plenty of time to account for that. Public transit will be more crowded than usual, and busses will be rerouted around road closure in addition to making extra stops to accommodate extra passengers, so bus trips in particular will take longer than expected. If Uber is your plan to get home from a night out, be prepared to pay some serious surge pricing, too.

Hoof It

If at all possible, walk to your destination. Parking is sure to be even more of a hassle than usual, and by the time you sit in traffic, it may not even be faster to drive if you aren’t going that far. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous this weekend, too. Part of the charm of living in more densely-populated neighborhoods is that they are walkable, so take advantage of that this weekend.

Keep Your Cool

Everyone knows traffic is frustrating, and everyone else on the road has somewhere better to be too. Try to be patient, drive courteously, and control your temper. Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the guy who just raced past a line of waiting cars and cut in front of you is from out of town and didn’t know he was in an exit only lane. In the grand scheme of things, an annoying traffic experience doesn’t matter, and if we all make an effort to keep calm and be nice, we can avoid having scary road rage stories in the news. And for pete’s sake, people- use your turn signals! Relax, be safe, and enjoy the fun!

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