Ride-along with Trooper Steve: Why is traffic in Champions Gate so bad?

Drivers can help relieve traffic headaches by being courteous, following laws

CHAMPIONS GATE, Fla. – There’s a community that we hear a lot about but many Central Floridians don't know where it is: Champions Gate.

Located just south of the Walt Disney area, it is known for its temporary tourist housing but is filled with many longtime residents. 

John Zahar has lived in the area for more than 20 years and doesn’t remember a time when the traffic wasn’t bad. To back what he is saying, I can remember patrolling that area and constantly going down for minor fender benders that were easily avoidable.

The congestion in that area has grown to be almost unbearable but drivers themselves are contributing to the traffic headaches.

John had enough and reached out to me, complaining about eastbound Champions Gate Boulevard.

As I was reading his email, I knew immediately what he was talking about. So John hopped in the car and we took to the road. In the early morning hours traveling east on Champions Gate toward Interstate 4, there are only two travel lanes.

Drivers ultimately wanting to travel east on I-4 are located in the left lane preparing to enter the left turning lane, which will take them the route they want to go. What happens is impatient drivers feel they can travel in the right travel lane and then subsequently cut off other drivers in the left lane or just stop waiting for someone to allow them to get in.

The totality of all of this leads to mass back ups in the morning. If drivers were to either adjust their schedule and maybe leave early, follow the traffic laws and drive more courteously, or continue to travel east and bypass the traffic and seek an alternate route, this could help with the backups. 

A lot of this is driver-caused, however, this area has boomed incredibly and having a four-lane road to support the amount of traffic is an issue also. Look, I preach all the time about drivers following the rules and remaining patient and this is no other time. We have to chose to be a safe driver and trying to bend the rules to make up for a few lost minutes is not the best way to start. 

By the way, drivers caught intentionally impeding traffic could face up to a $166 fine and three points on their license. 

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