Three routes through the Suncoast - which is the quickest?

Driving through the Suncoast

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - We know one of your top priorities is your daily commute and everyone loves to save time where they can.

So we did an experiment, which route gets you through the Suncoast the quickest?

ABC7 Reporter Taylor Torregano timed three drivers. They started in Venice and drove to Palmetto using three different routes: I-75, U.S. 41 and U.S. 41 to 301.

“We are leaving Venice,” said Emily Kinzer, who drove the I-75 route.

“Alright we’re off,” said Charlie Yeagley, who drove the U.S. 41 route.

Laura Barrero, who drove U.S. 41 to 301 just yawned and she took off.

The sleepy one got a slower start, but surprisingly, quickly took the lead.

All three drivers started on U.S 41, then Emily broke off to take 681 to I-75.

“I just got on I-75 headed north with no problem at all,” said Emily. "No traffic, you can see from the GoPro video [it’s] pretty smooth moving here.

In South County, it was smooth moving for Laura too.

"I’m going at 45 [miles per hour,] like that’s the speed limit right?” she said.

But as for Charlie - “Alright, well I hit every single light getting out of Venice, so I’m sure this is gonna impact my time,” he said.

It did. The group left at 9:35 a.m. By 10:09, Emily was passing the University Parkway exit and Charlie was barely passing Bahia Vista Street.

Still, he said he would not have taken any other route.

“I’ve been here long enough to know that once you’re stuck on I-75, it’s a parking lot," Charlie said. "On U.S. 41, I can get around about anything.”

Emily said she was stuck in that parking lot just a few days prior.

“[It was] 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon, I got stopped behind a car crash that had happened on I-75," said Emily. "So I can definitely see where, if there’s a weather incident or if there’s a traffic incident, things would definitely slow down on I-75. But as far as today, it’s been great! Speed limit the whole time, no slow downs, and I am just getting ready to exit off here.”

At 10:25 a.m., she drove in to Palmetto City Hall.

At this point, Laura had already merged onto 301 and was approaching SR-70.

“I just want to say that this is clearly the slowest route because my GPS keeps trying to deviate my path,” she sighed.

Charlie was still taking his time in third place, just passing SRQ airport on U.S. 41.

“I love to see cars that speed up as fast as they can and then we see them at the next red light,” Charlie laughed.

From this point on, Charlie’s route was actually quicker into Manatee County.

Laura still beat him to Palmetto on 301, but he did catch up. She pulled in at 10:37 a.m., then came Charlie at 10:39.

“Oh, they cheated,” Charlie said when asked how it felt to lose.

Nope, no cheating here. Technically, Charlie’s U.S 41 route was the most direct at 32.1 miles. Laura’s route of 41 to 301 was 32.5 miles and Emily had the most ground to cover on I-75 with 37.5 miles.

But on a day with no traffic, she definitely had the fastest drive.

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