Driving is easily one of the most stressful parts of our daily lives and driving in Edmonton isn’t exactly a breeze. But sadly, due to our incredibly well designed transit system (sarcasm), there’s not really that many alternatives to get around this fair city. Unless you bike but even then you only really get to do that for like five months out of the year and do you really want to be one of those people? (Sorry cyclists)
But driving in Edmonton doesn’t have to be awful. There are ways that help mitigated the terribleness that is driving in the YEG.
Here are the top 5 life hacks for driving around Edmonton:
#1 The Zipper method
A scientifically proven traffic system that people seem to either hate or think is bad form. What the zipper method describes is the situation where a two or more lane roadway is shrunken down into one lane. The zipper idea describes a process where people fill up all available lanes and each lane takes its turn proceeding, opposed to everyone just waiting in a straight line and leaving the other parts open. What usually takes place is the latter. Everyone waiting in a single line with a few stragglers taking the open lane to high heaven. These stragglers are often looked down upon for no reason. They are simply using the most mathematically correct system to ensure traffic is smooth and quick. Do more of this people, it helps! It’s SCIENCE!
#2 Hot Parking spots
I’m talking about parking in high traffic areas like Whyte Ave, the Downtown core, and even West Edmonton mall. Having go to parking spots can cut your time circling around, banging on the steering wheel, here is a few suggestions that might help mitigate that. When it comes to Whyte ave and downtown, if you park a few blocks off the main street, you get more options and rarely have to worry about payment. As for West Edmonton Mall, unless you have a specific place to visit, I find the area around Eds/Simmons to be one that usually has some pretty easy access. Also, when in doubt, go to the mid-level area around Scotiabank Theater. Rarely is that place ever occupied.
#3 Think before you drive
Edmonton is home to a few interior highways and even a fabulous ring road (all of which kinda suck to be honest) which act as the main traffic viaducts for the city. But they aren’t your only options. Thanks to the double edged sword that is google maps, we’re able to find sneaky little shortcuts that don’t take us through the heaviest of traffic. It’s important to remember that you’re not locked into taking the Whitemud, Yellowhead or, the Anthony Henday.
#4 Take off boil
Sometimes, it’s just better to relax and go with the flow. Road rage never helped anyone, it rarely makes traffic go quicker, and being a jerk, regardless of how other people are driving, really doesn’t help any situation ever. Just be calm and courteous and I promise you will enjoy your drive much more.
#5 Free ride
This one is a bit more specific in its benefits compared to the rest of the tips on this list. If you’re headed either way (north or south) down 111th street in the south end of the Whitemud, you can evade any red lights if you keep pace with the LRT. Although the alternative is, if you miss the train you get hit with a flurry of red lights that greatly elongate your trip. It’s a gamble, but one with a big payoff.