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Warlock
Warlock New Reader
11/8/23 2:39 p.m.

The problem with I-4 isn't when things are moving...it's the sections that lock up for miles, for no discernable reason.  Highways around DC are the same way.

SR 589 (Veterans Parkway) on the Tampa end gets pretty sporty in the mornings...everything from sport bikes to tradesmen's trucks with ladders hanging on the side doing the speed of heat until you hit the I-275 exit at the end.  At that point, the two exit lanes essentially stop, and the through lanes to the left continue howling by until they reach the traffic light, with excitement generated by people who want to switch from one to the other.  But pretty much any highway in Florida is wacky...it's like everyone else sends their worst drivers down here.  

 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/8/23 2:47 p.m.

I've driven a LOT of roads in the US. At least one road in every state. I-4? That's what y'all think is bad? It ain't as bad as Atlanta in the early 90's with construction through town down to two lanes. Or Chicago on a Sunday afternoon. Or LA pretty much any day at some point. DC's 495 in a blinding downpour and everyone still trying to run 90. Jersey turnpike every damn day of the week. Those people are insane. DFW in the last 10 years... Houston now. Penn turnpike. 

I-4 ain't that bad in comparison. At least you're JUST dealing with the morons and not trying to also avoid the craters that used to be the road as well. Just last month I watched a car literally go airborn on I65 south of E-town hitting a messed up concrete patch while running 90+. At least 6" of air under all four tires. When they landed jumped 3 lanes to pass more cars. It was an Altima. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
11/8/23 3:46 p.m.

I have to leave Daytona after work friday and drive to Fort Meyers. In the Miata. You guys are scaring me (not that I didn't know all of this).

RonnieFnD
RonnieFnD Reader
11/8/23 3:53 p.m.
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

I have to leave Daytona after work friday and drive to Fort Meyers. In the Miata. You guys are scaring me (not that I didn't know all of this).

Nice, you will be there too. I have to drive down 75 to get there which usually isn't any better but I'm going down Saturday morning so hopefully at 5am I don't hit any traffic. 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
11/8/23 3:58 p.m.
z31maniac said:

In reply to TJL (Forum Supporter) :

To be fair, it's up to the merging driver to speed up or slow down and safely make the merge.

This is certainly true...  to a point.  If traffic is bumper to bumper and creeping along, no change of speed on the part of the merging traffic is going to magically open a car-sized hole.  It's up to those drivers in the right lane to courteously allow merging traffic to merge.

gixxeropa
gixxeropa GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/8/23 4:17 p.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

that's when having a beat up work truck comes in handy, people tend to make room

944DR
944DR None
11/8/23 4:53 p.m.

In reply to Toyman! :Immediately as I read this article I thought of I-95 in South Carolina!

 

jmabarone
jmabarone HalfDork
11/8/23 5:19 p.m.
Toyman! said:

I can't imagine that I4 is any worse than I26 in South Carolina. 

The fast lane running 90. The slow lane running 60. Oh, you wanted a middle lane? Funny boy, we don't spend money to fix the gargantuan holes or fill the ruts that are literally worn into the asphalt, much less add another lane. 

The 100-mile stretch of I26 between Charleston and Columbia had just shy of 900 crashes that put almost 1200 people in the hospital and killed 33. I pretty much don't drive on it anymore. Hwy 176 parallels it and you stand a much smaller chance of crashing or getting stuck in traffic for hours. 

No, I4 is tons worse.  As someone above said, you can go through Orlando at 1-2 in the morning and will just stop for NO REASON!  I95 in SC is laughable.  Annoying, yes, but not as bad as I4.  

Haven't driven many big cities (DC, LA, DFW), but I4 is terrible for the 30 miles around Orlando.  I77 through Charlotte sucks too, but I4 still beats it.  

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/8/23 6:06 p.m.
gixxeropa said:

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

that's when having a beat up work truck comes in handy, people tend to make room

Let me tell you about my beat up motorhome ...

etdweasel
etdweasel New Reader
11/8/23 6:12 p.m.

I drive I-4 regularly, maybe 2-3 times a week. I feel your pain.

Having said that, allow me to nominate...

 

 

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/8/23 6:26 p.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

also, i-85 through Greenville SC is a bit of a nightmare as well

Toyman! said:

I can't imagine that I4 is any worse than I26 in South Carolina. 

The fast lane running 90. The slow lane running 60. Oh, you wanted a middle lane? Funny boy, we don't spend money to fix the gargantuan holes or fill the ruts that are literally worn into the asphalt, much less add another lane. 

The 100-mile stretch of I26 between Charleston and Columbia had just shy of 900 crashes that put almost 1200 people in the hospital and killed 33. I pretty much don't drive on it anymore. Hwy 176 parallels it and you stand a much smaller chance of crashing or getting stuck in traffic for hours. 

As a native South Carolinaian I've driven I26, I85, and I4.  berkeley the berkeley out of I4.  I'll take I26 and I85 anyday over I4.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
11/8/23 6:28 p.m.

i-4 is unique in that virtually nowhere else on earth will you encounter the sheer variety of drivers you will here. 

 

Remember, less than 40% of florida's population is native to florida by birth. That means at any given time 60% or MORE of the people got their drivers license SOMEWHERE ELSE. They did not learn the intricacies of Florida driving. 

 

We also have the added benefit of being effectively the #1 tourist destination on earth, with i-4 passing past....all of it. If you wanna see the mouse, the minions, the whale, or any of it, you're on I-4.

 

Let's extrapolate that and add in the fact that...everyone hates tourists. So we all drive like we're trying to kill them, because let's be real, some of us are. Tourists drive like they paid for the section of road they're on so they can do what they want with it. It's a bad mix. 

 

Add in the fact that I-4 was never designed to do what it's doing right now, let alone what it's going to continue to do...forever. The Ultimate project won't catch up. It'll finish and we'll have to start over again. And that's all I can say about that without patio'ing this whole thing. 

 

There's a reason I drive junk. I'm prepared to total my car on a daily basis. Ain't worth owning something I like. 

RonnieFnD
RonnieFnD Reader
11/8/23 6:32 p.m.
Mndsm said:

i-4 is unique in that virtually nowhere else on earth will you encounter the sheer variety of drivers you will here. 

 

Remember, less than 40% of florida's population is native to florida by birth. That means at any given time 60% or MORE of the people got their drivers license SOMEWHERE ELSE. They did not learn the intricacies of Florida driving. 

 

We also have the added benefit of being effectively the #1 tourist destination on earth, with i-4 passing past....all of it. If you wanna see the mouse, the minions, the whale, or any of it, you're on I-4.

 

Let's extrapolate that and add in the fact that...everyone hates tourists. So we all drive like we're trying to kill them, because let's be real, some of us are. Tourists drive like they paid for the section of road they're on so they can do what they want with it. It's a bad mix. 

 

Add in the fact that I-4 was never designed to do what it's doing right now, let alone what it's going to continue to do...forever. The Ultimate project won't catch up. It'll finish and we'll have to start over again. And that's all I can say about that without patio'ing this whole thing. 

 

There's a reason I drive junk. I'm prepared to total my car on a daily basis. Ain't worth owning something I like. 

Never in my 42 years on this planet have I heard anything described more accurately. 

TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
11/8/23 6:43 p.m.

I-4 made me coin the term "mystery traffic". 
 

you can be going along great, 80mph, then traffic  slows, slower and dead stop. Sit stopped for a few seconds, start off again, slow,  speed up and find NOTHING that would have caused a slowdown. No debris in the road, no wreck, no car on the side. Nothing. Its the ol' i4 mystery traffic. 
 

also, driving a s-box does help. If you are in a nice vehicle, people know you dont want it messed up. You drive a beater, people give you room. My cousin drives the same stretch i used to drive. In his shiny passat r line, he got no respect. In his shiny f-150, he gets a little. In his wacky gambler jeep, he gets all the room.  
 

i had a lady in a nice porsche, 100k$+ car all day. She got way up my ass to intimidate me in my ragged truck ive had for 23 years.  She backed off pretty quick i think after estimating the value of my truck compared to hers. Buy 50 of my truck for 1 of her car. 

RonnieFnD
RonnieFnD Reader
11/8/23 6:57 p.m.
TJL (Forum Supporter) said:

I-4 made me coin the term "mystery traffic". 
 

you can be going along great, 80mph, then traffic  slows, slower and dead stop. Sit stopped for a few seconds, start off again, slow,  speed up and find NOTHING that would have caused a slowdown. No debris in the road, no wreck, no car on the side. Nothing. Its the ol' i4 mystery traffic. 
 

also, driving a s-box does help. If you are in a nice vehicle, people know you dont want it messed up. You drive a beater, people give you room. My cousin drives the same stretch i used to drive. In his shiny passat r line, he got no respect. In his shiny f-150, he gets a little. In his wacky gambler jeep, he gets all the room.  
 

i had a lady in a nice porsche, 100k$+ car all day. She got way up my ass to intimidate me in my ragged truck ive had for 23 years.  She backed off pretty quick i think after estimating the value of my truck compared to hers. Buy 50 of my truck for 1 of her car. 

Solid advice.  I always think that when people want to get aggressive on the road.   My car has the blue book value of a half eaten pub sub....you really wanna do this?

VegasNick
VegasNick GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/8/23 6:58 p.m.

AGREE! I commute from Daytona to MCO daily and I go straight down 95 from the house and cut across 528. Takes an extra 15 minutes but saves years on my sanity levels! 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/8/23 9:01 p.m.

I spent time in Orlando I'm the Navy.  I-4 is bad, but I think I-75 through Atlanta is worse.  I-20 through Birmingham is a special kind of awful too (Atlanta drivers).  I-75 in Chattanooga also gets a lot of Atlanta flair at the wheel.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
11/8/23 9:09 p.m.

I-15 between Barstow California and Las Vegas.

The road itself is fine but the drivers are homicidal. Passing in the truck lane up at 85-90 mph.

I've driven I-4 and it doesn't compare...........

mblommel
mblommel GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/8/23 9:16 p.m.

I-4 does totally suck, and it's part of my commute but usually the slow downs are accidents are actually on 408.  It's like a magnet for idiots. 

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
11/8/23 9:16 p.m.

Meh... Growing up just outside DC I was used to crazy traffic.  In Florida I commuted I-4 from the Daytona area to Orlando for 5 years daily and about ten total years of 40-50k miles a year driving all around central Florida.  Compared to DC traffic it was a cake walk. 

Personally I think traffic and drivers are all what you make of it.  If you are used to it and expect it then it won't upset you.  If you are high strung or anxious already that will add to it.  If you don't experience it often you probably feel like you've entered some sort of twilight zone hell.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/8/23 9:17 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

I-15 between Barstow California and Las Vegas.

The road itself is fine but the drivers are homicidal. Passing in the truck lane up at 85-90 mph.

I've driven I-4 and it doesn't compare...........

Some drive 172 while under the influence on that one.  
 

I-4 is it's own odd thing.  Going along great.....  then it's all stop!  For what!  Oh it's a foreigner in a rental with FL plates that just decided to stop suddenly from 70. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/9/23 5:55 a.m.

Props to Colin for the artwork on this piece, down to the I-4 Eyesore. A+ job, Colin. 

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
11/9/23 7:45 a.m.

I nominate I40 through Knoxville. Everything already explained happens everyday. 5 lanes solid of traffic.

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/9/23 7:51 a.m.
Stampie said:
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

also, i-85 through Greenville SC is a bit of a nightmare as well

Toyman! said:

I can't imagine that I4 is any worse than I26 in South Carolina. 

The fast lane running 90. The slow lane running 60. Oh, you wanted a middle lane? Funny boy, we don't spend money to fix the gargantuan holes or fill the ruts that are literally worn into the asphalt, much less add another lane. 

The 100-mile stretch of I26 between Charleston and Columbia had just shy of 900 crashes that put almost 1200 people in the hospital and killed 33. I pretty much don't drive on it anymore. Hwy 176 parallels it and you stand a much smaller chance of crashing or getting stuck in traffic for hours. 

As a native South Carolinaian I've driven I26, I85, and I4.  berkeley the berkeley out of I4.  I'll take I26 and I85 anyday over I4.

Well, I guess it's a good thing I haven't lost anything in FL and don't really have a reason to go back. 

 

 

Scotty Con Queso
Scotty Con Queso UltraDork
11/9/23 8:26 a.m.

I think if you can name an interstate near a major city, it sucks exponentially worse than it did 20 years ago.  Looking at you, I-77 through Charlotte. 

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