5 Tips to survive rush hour traffic in Malta
With over 370,000 vehicles on the road, Malta is literally swarming with cars. One could say the island is infested. And the result? A traffic epidemic that flares up during rush hour - when tempers rise and patience levels plummet.
Truth is, this is not a problem that will be solved overnight since solutions lie in infrastructural and cultural changes. So unless people start carpooling, opting for bicycles or using public transport en masse overnight, we just have to learn to live with traffic - at least for now. So here are a few tips on how to deal with traffic in Malta.
Plan your route
The first step in dealing with traffic is trying to avoid it. And how do you do this? You plan! Start by understanding the worst-affected routes and plan your way around them. This might take some trial and error, but you will nail it eventually. And remember, the fastest route might be the longest one. You could carry out some test drives on weekends or use your mobile phone’s GPS navigation device.
Just a little tip, brought to us by maltesetraffic.com. The top five busiest roads on the island are:
- Regional Road (Skate Park, St Venera tunnels)
- Birkirkara Bypass
- Aldo Moro
- Mdina Road Qormi (Zebbug towards Qormi and vice versa)
- Triq San Tumas (Old Airport area)
So if you need to pass through any of these roads, you might want to wait until after 9 am (if you can) when traffic starts to calm down.
Organise your morning
This might sound obvious. But, as many of us know, ‘obvious’ can go out the window on busy weekday mornings. By getting yourself organised in the morning you can save precious minutes at home and head out the door earlier - possibly before rush hour begins.
Try to get into the habit of preparing as much as you can the night before - your outfit, the kids’ uniforms, packed lunches, etc. And, as hard as it may be, set your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier. It can make all the difference.
Use traffic time constructively
Sometimes your destination, or your commitments, dictate your route. Sometimes traffic is simply unavoidable. This is where you have a choice to make: you either sit there fuming and churning out negative energy. Or you shift your perspective and try to use the time spent in traffic for something positive.
Personal development. How about feeding your brain while waiting in traffic? Pick an audiobook or a podcast that interests you and use your time to fuel your imagination or amp up your inspiration.
Mental planning. Sitting in traffic is a perfect opportunity to organise your thoughts or brainstorm. You could plan your schedule for the rest of the day, think about how to start that important email, or come up with a great idea for tomorrow’s presentation.
Start your day from home
If you can work flexible hours, consider starting work from home then heading to the office after 9 am when the roads get quieter. Of course, this requires a mind shift on the part of employers. To those employers we say: consider encouraging employees to start their day from home. You’ll be rewarded with less frustrated, more productive staff.
Be the one to start the change
If traffic infuriates you, why not channel that energy into becoming a traffic warrior? You could opt for carpooling - apart from reducing the number of cars on the roads, being with others in the car will allow you to talk and catch up. You could also try to take the bus to work. While this may not work for everyone, you’d be surprised at how it might work for you! You’d be able to sit down and catch up on work or read a book while the bus driver handles the traffic.
Another thing to consider is riding a bicycle. Again, this is not for everyone but the benefits of riding a bike in Malta might exceed your expectations.
Traffic can be a pain. We have no control over the main causes of traffic. But we do have control over our attitude towards it… and over the condition of the car we drive.
Make sure your car is not the cause of traffic and that it’s in good working order by visiting one of the car repairing and service garages listed on Yellow.
Don’t let traffic stop you. Keep discovering local - www.yellow.com.mt.