WSVN — Seems like no matter what time you get on the road, a traffic jam gets in the way. Patrick Fraser takes a look at South Florida trapped in traffic.

It seems like every second, of every minute, of every hour traffic in South Florida is a slow moving, jammed up, backed up, mess.

Alex Norton: “I’m not a crazy person but it could definitely make me insane.”

From the east to the suburbs out west, to the interstates north and south, to the side streets criss-crossing South Florida; it’s just traffic, traffic, traffic.

Tom Pellegrini: “It’s become gridlocked. No matter where you turn, you’re at a standstill.”

It’s bad today. It’s not gonna instantly be better tomorrow.

Scott Brunner: “It’s a constant battle and it’s just a very big challenge.”

Difficult challenges with no easy solutions.

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart: “Since we had poor planning decades ago, we’re dealing with those consequences.”

You can even put a number on the difficulty of driving in South Florida. Bill Eisele was one of the authors of the National Urban Mobility Report. He says start with the No. 3.

Bill Eisele: “The planning time index is 3.6 in South Florida and what that means is that for a trip during light traffic conditions, that might take 20 minutes. You have to multiply that by 3.6 so it works out to about 72 minutes.”

Just during light traffic it takes three and a half times as long to drive somewhere as it should.

There are solutions and odds are you may not like some of them. For example; public transportation.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez: “We’ve got to find funding sources for additional public transportation. We have to encourage people to use alternate modes of transportation.”

Some simple solutions can be done quickly. People who live or work in the Downtown Miami area can take the bus, metrorail, people mover or walk.

In Broward, traffic is not as congested. In part because of a major focus on synchronizing lights.

Scott Brunner: “The past three years we re-timed 1,100 traffic signals on 55 corridors and that’s really started to help move traffic a lot better.”

On the interstate, drivers who dont have to be somewhere in rush hour, should drive at another time and the police could clear traffic accidents more quickly.

Alicia Torrez: “The goal is to keep traffic moving, promote mobility and promote safety conditions on the highway.”

The Florida Department of Transportation monitors traffic from a central location and has some ideas to try to clear some congestion, such as:

  • Finish the interchange improvements on S.R. 826 and 836
  • Making express lanes on Interstate-75 and the 826/Palmetto.
  • Reconstruct lanes on N.W. 57th Avenue.

Patrick Fraser: “Those are just a few plans that are in motion but the bottom line is there is no magic trick to make massive traffic jams disappear.”

Aileen Boucle: “We can’t build our way out of congestion by adding more and more lanes. So we have to look at being more efficient.”

There are many ideas being proposed to solve the problem but the reality will make your hopes of smooth sailing in traffic grind to a halt.

Mayor Gimenez: “All this takes time. You just can’t snap your fingers and all the sudden traffic is alleviated.”

Lots of people are looking for solutions to ease traffic jams but just sunny days and afternoon showers are a way of life. So too, is being trapped in traffic.

I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

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