Monday, August 29, 2016

Things I learned while in Florida

Following on from the recent post on things I learned in California, here's some things I learned in Orlando last week.
1. They have the most incredibly out-of-balance red/green signal ratio. Around where I was - near UCF - the red signals were anything from 2 to 4 minutes, followed by about 15 to 20 seconds of green. That was for crossing streets. The main roads had the opposite. Meaning that the side streets had queues on them that lasted for 3 to 4 red cycles before you got to the front. Meaning to get ANYWHERE was at least 6 minutes sitting at every red light. If I timed it wrong, it was 16 minutes. To travel the 0.75 miles from my hotel to the nearest supermarket and back took a little over 35 minutes. Including the 3 minutes I was in the store.
2. The Florida stereotype is very true - little old ladies with purple hair in gigantic cars with the left turn signal forever stuck on.
3. People can actually turn right without coming to a dead stop. Are you listening, Utah?

Driving was OK overall - too many toll roads though. It must be cripplingly expensive to live down there if you own a car. Petrol is $1 more than in Utah and with toll roads everywhere, as soon as you get on the motorway or any large bypass road, you're in it for $1 there and $1 back. To get to UCF from the airport is $2 each way. To get to International Drive from the airport is $4 each way. I swear if I lived there I'd burn more in tolls than I did in petrol.
Between the cost of petrol, the toll roads and the bizarre light timing, if it wasn't for the awful weather (35°C and 90% humidity) it would be making a good argument to walk everywhere.