the locals know...
My general area in Tampa Florida: Busch Gardens and USF. This is to give you an idea of where I am.
The locals know:
- You can use parking lots the same way you do the roads. If you want to skip at least 3 traffic lights you can skirt thru the big-ass parking lots to get where you need to go.
- Merging into traffic from the parking lot exit directly before a traffic light is the absolute worst position to be in because you'll never get out.
- Those who drive around here routinely understand that on 3-lane roads the center lane is always the fastest. If you're on the right, a bus will slow you to a stop. If you're on the left, some idiot has the butt-end of his car sticking out trying to foolishly execute a left turn over 3 lanes on the other side. If you're in the middle you skip all that crap.
- Never block a side street at a stop light when traffic is backed up. If you do, you are guaranteed to be blocking someone trying to get to or from that street; you're making your trip just that much longer.
- Generally speaking, you should avoid driving past any entrance to USF. If you dare do so, you'll get tailgated by some college kid that's driving a car "accessorized" with stickers, 14 pounds of junk hanging off the rear view mirror, and 25 pounds of junk (usually fuzzy stuffed animals if a girl's car) blocking the rear glass. And of course the "driver" will be yappin' away on his or her cell phone, because darn it, making sure someone does the package store run for tonight's party is more important than, oh.. I dunno.. DRIVING?
- If you don't know how to perform a U-turn, don't even bother coming here.
- The best vehicle to be behind during heavy traffic? A box truck. They move fairly quickly and no one dares cut them off for fear of getting their car munched. Bonus: No one will cut in front of you because they don't want to be behind the box truck (but you're smarter and know better).
- Tampa has the absolute longest yellow lights in the world. Even if you're 25 yards away from the light you can usually make it before it turns red, assuming you're going at a pretty good clip.
- If a fire truck or ambulance is behind you with lights flashing and sirens blaring, GET OUT OF THE WAY. (I personally had to almost ram someone once just to get them to move when a fire truck was directly behind me.)
- The time difference between taking all-road or all-interstate (I-275, I-4, I-75) to get anywhere around here? None. You'll spend the same amount of time driving no matter which you choose.
- The place where you can get the most for least with the least minimum of wait time? Walgreen's. If you need stuff they don't have, Big Lots.
- Worst place for same stuff: 7-Eleven.
- Cleanest convenience stores (generally speaking): Race Trac.
- Dirtiest convenience stores: 7-Eleven or any non-major chain.
- Getting the parking spot closest to the building (any building) is a complete waste of time because it takes you that much longer to get out of the parking lot. Confused? Try it here and you'll see what I mean.
- Anything labeled with "University" (University Square Mall for example) is something you should avoid.
- If while driving you're stopped by a crossing train, for some reason no one cares if you whip your car around, perform an absolutely illegal U-turn, run over a median, then a curb on someone else's property, then skip down a side street, drive a few blocks and head the other way. And yes I've done this (save for the curb part).
- It does sometimes take 30 minutes to drive 8 miles. This isn't a problem, but some people feel it is even though been living here for years. If you want no traffic, drive on Sunday @ 4am.
- It is routine for the locals to hate tourists that don't have GPS. We know that if you had GPS you wouldn't get even a tenth as lost as you do without it.