Talk Thursday ~ Traffic

Panama City isn’t one of the largest cities I’ve ever been it but is does suffer from urban sprawl.  The roads are in poor condition, there is a lack of traffic lights and traffic enforcement and there are only certain times of day where you can get from Point A to Point B without being stuck in immovable traffic.  The bigger the city grows the more cars there are on the road and most of those cars only have one person in them.  Sounds typical of any city in North America doesn’t it.  Let’s add to the mix discourteous and aggressive drivers and compound the situation.

Driving in Panama City is not for the faint of heart.  SU has been in war zones and even though he can manage driving in The City he still prefers to take a cab or be driven around.  It’s less frazzling on the nerves and he gets to see more.  When I’m visiting Panama City my friend and I make a concerted effort to go out during the non-peak times.  This means getting out of the house before 6:00 a.m. or not being on the road from 7:00-9:00 a.m., 12:00-2:00 p.m.,  or 5:00-7:00 p.m.  Often if we’re out close to 5:00 p.m. we’ll find somewhere to go and stay put until 7:00 when the traffic dies down.  Our thought is that we’d be stuck in traffic for an hour or so anyway so we might as well stay put.

Today’s video is “How Not to Get Stuck in Traffic” by AsapSCIENCE.  It has some great information about technologies and techniques that planners are using to try to alleviate traffic jams around the world.  I don’t know if these techniques could ever help Panama City and for now this gal is going to stick to driving…in the campo.


About indacampo

You'll find me at blogging about Panama...and other things.
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6 Responses to Talk Thursday ~ Traffic

  1. Pedasi Pundit says:

    There have been a couple of postings, in North America, that by 2025, people will no longer own their own cars but use car services, such as Uber, shared car services like ZipCar or driveless cars that come to you and take you where you want to go. Ford recently announced that they will offer a driverless car by 2020. The insurance companies are very scared of this possibility because Car Insurance is a multibillion market and this would cause that market to disappear, just like Kodak did when film cameras went away.

  2. Catherine Virgenock says:

    So coming there from Washington DC I will totally be prepared to sit in traffic. PS: It’s a good time to learn Spanish from library CDs. I should. be fluent in no time.

    • indacampo says:

      It is indeed a good time to learn some Spanish. A taxi driver once taught my husband several different swear words while we were stuck in traffic. And it was a she, not a he… He thought the lesson was worth a little bonus tip. LOL😊

  3. pklainer says:

    LOL. Can’t tell you how happy I am to hear that SU also doesn’t like to drive in Panama City. For all the reasons you state, I go out of my way to use a driver while there. Perfectly happy to drive when I reach Cocle Province, but think the City is a nightmare. Way too stressful. Am glad to hear that Uber has arrived, although I haven’t used it yet.

    • indacampo says:

      The advice that we have received from our Panamanian friends is; ” Never make eye contact with the other drivers. That only shows your weakness.” I too am quite comfortable driving on the other highways and byways and could quite comfortably make my way from Pedasi to my friend’s house in the city. It’s a direct route over Centanario with only two right turns afterwards. But then the vehicle would be parked for the duration. 😋

      • pklainer says:

        That’s funny. Don’t make eye contact. I’ll keep that in mind. And yes, I’d not want to leave a car sitting on the street or unattended in a driveway for very long. When I rent a car there — and my U.S insurance doesn’t apply — I have to take extra coverage for things like the wheels, which apparently are at risk of disappearing.

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