14 Ways to Beat Dallas Traffic
Dallas is known for many things. Among them: The Dallas Cowboys, Highland Park Village, and traffic. Dallas is home to five spots in the top 20 ranked roadways in Texas, out of a long list of 100.
These roadways include U.S. 75 on the East and Northeast side, Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Stemmons Freeway, Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, and ERL Thornton Freeway. The roads are at their worst at 8 am and 5 pm during the business week, resulting from busy workers or commuters on significant highways. Traffic, on average, can lead to an additional twenty minutes to get to and from your destination.
Traffic is a stressful event to deal with every day, especially when you’re already rushed to get to where you need to go. Traffic emissions pollute the air, the daily setbacks cause hardship for drivers, and we end up with more aggressive cars on the road.
Although overcoming traffic may feel impossible, there are some tips to help you avoid traffic in Dallas efficiently. Here is everything you need to know about optimizing your Dallas travel and reducing roadway stressors.
But First: Why is Dallas Traffic So Bad?
More people moving to our great city means more problems.
According to the U.S. Census data released today, Dallas has grown its population a whopping 9 percent since 2010. As of 2021, the population in the city of Dallas is now 1,348,886, with 2.6 million people now living in the County.
People often say everything’s bigger in Texas. That goes for vehicles, roadway congestion, and tumultuous drivers. It’s common to see 18 wheelers, RAM trucks, livestock, and boat transportation in Texas. When people are in a hurry, fatal accidents ensue.
The diverse climate of Texan transportation requires proactive planning to keep you safe and on track throughout your travels. Road congestion compounded with large vehicles is a recipe for disaster without the proper precautions.
1. Avoid rush hour
It may feel impossible to avoid rush hour when it’s your everyday routine for getting to work or school. Instead of getting to work early and potentially wasting extra time in the morning, consider time blocking. Batch your schedule so you can accomplish essential errands workouts, or catch up on emails by getting to your location earlier or staying later.
Rush hour in Dallas is peak from 7 am to 9:30 pm and again from 3 pm to 6:30 pm. When you put it into perspective that you’d be spending a minimum of twenty extra minutes in traffic, reallocating your time could save you energy in the long run. See if there is a surrounding coffee shop or gym where you can spend extra time during peak rush hour. When you decide to head home, the traffic would have died down, and you knocked some things off your to-do list.
2. Learn the shortcuts
Many alternate routes in Dallas could save you time. If you’re new to the area, do some research on your maps application. Remember that everyone is taking the highway as a fast route, but it is counterintuitive when it’s crowded with hundreds of cars. Back roads may save you some time and stress, but you will have to be patient with traffic lights.
3. Always check the weather
Checking the weather in the morning can help you be prepared for the day ahead. The worst feeling in the world is getting stuck on a road or detour that you weren’t expecting. Have a backup plan if roads shut down, and prepare for delays if it’s a stormy day.
4. Keep up with Dallas events
The joys of living in a big city are that you have plenty of activities for entertainment. However, on game days, the AT&T Stadium will be crowded, and delays can be a hassle to wade through when you’re in a time crunch. This is true for Six Flags and Rangers Ballpark as well. The more you familiarize yourself with the area, you’ll pick up on seasonal events and be able to plan accordingly.
5. Alter your work schedule
Being 15 minutes ahead of the time traffic generally becomes more congested can make all the difference! See if your employer is able to shift your work hours being either allowing for a staggering of hours or maybe flexible work hours would give you more choice in how to avoid traffic impacts.
6. Review Dallas Traffic Maps
There are various Dallas Traffic Maps, most notable being The Spectrum Dallas Rush Hour Traffic Map. This will give you relevant updates to check in on before you decide to start driving. Plan your route accordingly, or run some errands until the traffic has decreased.
7. Use the Waze App
Waze is a very efficient traffic avoidance app, especially if you're someone that uses Google Maps on a daily basis. Just be cautious if (or better yet, “when”) you’re re-routed through a neighborhood or school zone as their algorithm truly searches for any quicker route. You can previous their direction system here. Waze supplies drivers with local data about their route, contrary to other navigation systems. This includes upcoming accidents, traffic congestion, speed limits, police in the area, and construction zone. It frequently updates so you can have a clear understanding of roadway conditions and how to handle them effectively.
8. Consider the Tollways
If you're willing to pay to avoid traffic jams, consider registering for a Tolltag account through the North Texas Tollway Authority to quickly navigate Dallas County. Tollways are a crucial compensate to commuting here in Dallas. Paying for an account allows you to drive quickly through tolls and submit your payment through your account. Some of the tollways you can use to escape traffic delays includes; the Dallas North Tollway, 360 tollway, the Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge, and President Bush Turnpike. Many commuters or city workers lean on tolls to bypass some traffic.
9. Download Audiobooks, Podcast, and Music
Sometimes spending time in the car is unavoidable, so you have to make the best of it. Source some material that interests you to keep you entertained. It’s a great way to multitask and utilize your time to listen to something that you enjoy.
Other ways to bypass traffic are by getting creative about your transportation and opting out of driving. There are public transportation systems and some innovative ideas you can utilize to minimize car travel. Here are some recommendations.
Plan a carpool arrangement with coworkers, family members, or friends to save money on gas. Imagine if everyone carpooled with 2-3 people, the number of cars on the road would reduce tremendously. You get to use the HOV ways when you carpool, which is another advantage.
11. Bike or Skate
Depending on how far you need to travel, walking, biking, and skating may be a good alternative. This is a money saver and can reduce pollution in the long term. If you enjoy biking, it’s a multi-beneficial way to get a daily workout in.
12. Dallas Public Transportation
Public transport is an excellent way to travel passively. If you live or work in Dallas, it might be worth checking out Dallas Area Rapid Transit. There are buses, light rail, commuter rail, and high occupancy car lanes.
13. Pack Your Meals
Lunch hours will get busy around local areas near your job in Dallas. Consider packing your meals and keeping lunch at your office to save time. You’ll have more free time to enjoy yourself and spend less time driving or navigating busy stores.
14. Work From Home
Okay, before you get frazzled, I know that not everyone has luxury of working from home, but if you do, it could be beneficial to consider it! Whether the position would be completely remote, or a flex option, either will reduce the time you spend in Dallas traffic. Switching to a work from position can save you time and maximize your efficiency during the day. Discuss possibilities with your employers, especially if you are on the computer or working independently.
Many people lead busy lives in the 21st century, and we don’t have a lot of time on our hands to waste. Instead of rushing around in a fit of road rage, incorporate some of these tips into your daily routine. Remember that slowing down and making your travels more efficient has the potential to save lives. When roads get congested, traffic accidents increase in likelihood. If you’re unable to avoid traffic during the week, remember to stay alert and focused on the road. It’s easy to get familiar with your route, but that doesn’t guarantee your safety. Driving in a busy city like Dallas requires your full attention. Keep the rest of your to-do list on the back burner, and focus on driving precautions to keep everyone safe on the road.