Minneapolis traffic can be a daunting task. I am currently a driver for a major package carrier in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. I find myself having to constantly reroute myself due to traffic volume changes through out the day. There are typically 5 different ways to avoid heavy traffic in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
1. I get out early. I start my shift at 6 a.m., traffic in Minneapolis tends to begin getting tight after 6:45 but once 7:15 rolls around, you aren’t getting anywhere. Especially if you are using 62 crosstown, construction just ended on the “Unweave the Weave” project but 62 seems to be exactly the same as it was before but with wider lanes.
2. The left lane is not always the fastest. On roads like 494 heading west through Bloomington and 694 heading east through Brooklyn Park sticking to the furthest right lane until the zipper when you have to merge left will save you up to 5 minutes of traffic time.
3. Minnesota has two seasons, mosquito season and construction season. There isn’t much we can do about the mosquitoes but we can avoid construction. If you absolutely must drive through construction and have to deal with a reduced amount of lanes. Please use the MnDoT recommended zippering technique. Use both lanes until you absolutely must merge. I know the idea is counter intuitive but it really does work. The guy in the big truck blocking both lanes is the one screwing up traffic for everyone.
4. Avoid Minneapolis if at all possible, use routes other than 94 or 35 to get across the city. Remember three numbers like 494, 100, 169 takes you around Minneapolis two numbers like 35 and 94 take you into the city. St. Paul is a different story, for whatever reason St. Paul rarely has any traffic problems, even downtown, unless there is a major event happening.
5. If all else fails, get a MnPass or carpool. The MnPass can be a lifesaver for those days when you are late for work. Although I may have my own opinions about the usefulness of building carpool lanes, there is no question the carpool lane is certainly the fastest way to get through traffic.