I-95: A Frustrating Highway for South Floridians

The traffic on I-95 is usually a tough go. The interstate stretches from South Florida all the way to New England. But when it comes to congestion, NBC 6 found that of the top 20 most congested parts of I-95, happen to be in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

From the morning rush to the afternoon drive, I-95 stresses a lot of people out.

“It can get very frustrating,” said Joseph Aguro, a South Florida driver.

Stretches of the interstate can resemble parking lots. New numbers show that across the country, the busiest parts of I-95 are in South Florida, with as many as 325,000 vehicles each day.

Standstill traffic could lead to sheer boredom. Law enforcement officials say that’s when people start doing things absent-mindedly that could get them in trouble.

Texting, talking and music are all distractions that state troopers see often.

“They are not paying attention to traffic. You should always pay attention to traffic,” said Sgt. Mark Wysocky of Florida Highway Patrol.

State troopers say the mix of issues on I-95 makes road rage a problem.

“It always seems like there’s construction. It causes people to get upset because they are stuck in traffic, then someone is on the phone and they are upset about that. Then things escalate to possible road rage situation,” said Wysocky.

Even if the construction doesn’t cause you to have a fit, a local traffic expert says it’s likely still an annoyance.

“All that construction doesn’t help you commute and definitely adds to congestion on I-95. I don’t think the construction is helping it. It’s making it worse,” said Adonis Lugo of Total Traffic.

The Florida Department of Transportation say there have been, are and will be multiple, ongoing construction projects on I-95 and it’s all meant to improve things. The problem? The state says that projects can’t compete with growing population in South Florida.

“The most significant thing we’ve done is use express lanes – that moves more traffic but since that all started in 2009, we have had 15 percent more traffic on the road. So when we try to move more traffic, we deal with growth and people don’t see progress,” said Secretary Jim Wolfe of the Florida Department of Transportation.

One project being called a success is the state’s effort to combat lane diving. Lane diving is when drivers illegally cross the express lane barriers on I-95, which was a huge problem. The Florida Department of Transportation moved the barriers closer together. In the year since that’s been done, new numbers show a 30 percent decrease in express lane crashes. Tickets for illegal lane diving are down 89 percent.

“These are phenomenal numbers – shows you can find engineering solutions and make a change that will make things better for people,” said Wolfe.

When it comes to I-95, drivers think South Florida will probably keep its title of having the most congestion.

The big project that’s underway right now is the repaving of I-95, which causes periodic lane closures on certain nights each week. The closures get frustrating for drivers, because it’s all contributing to the congestion.

The project includes the creation of new emergency stops in express lanes. It’s a multi-year project the state says will help the overall long term solution.

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