When you can expect snowbird traffic to start on the Suncoast

Published: Nov. 1, 2019 at 8:49 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Snowbird season is approaching, which means people can expect more traffic on the roadways.

The Sarasota-Manatee Regional Traffic Management Center said snowbird season starts at the end of November after hurricane season and Thanksgiving are over. But, major congestion on the roads won’t be seen until February and March when more people visit the area for spring break and baseball spring training. During those two months, we can expect to see about 40% more cars on the roads.

If you think red lights last longer during snowbird season, you're right. The lights are adjusted based on the amount of drivers on the road. But, the longest a red light will last in both Manatee County and Sarasota County is a little over two minutes.

And even though snowbird season hasn't hit just yet, the roads may still seem more congested than in years past. That's because more people are moving to the area.

“The volumes are increasing everyday. And this goes along with the projection of the U.S. Census that indicates that the population is increasing and therefore we’ll see that the peak period continues even when historically some months had very small traffic,” said Fabio Capillo, who is the Division Manager of the Sarasota-Manatee RTMC.

One way to avoid congestion before heading out the door is to check out the live traffic map on smarttrafficinfo.org. The map allows a person to see how long it will take to travel a stretch of road and the speed that cars are traveling.

Capillo also said a majority of the green lights are timed out together, so if a driver travels the speed limit they are more likely to hit more greens than if they were to speed.

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