5 Cape Cod Driving Tips and Tricks
1. Start early or stay late.
It can really be that simple. Basically by being where you want to be (over the bridges, at the beach etc) by 10 am, or by waiting until after 5 pm it is possible to avoid the peak travel times and the worst of the traffic. So get to a beach early, bring your beach towels, ice, plenty of water, sunscreen & lunch. Find your spot, dig your toes into the sand, breath deep and relax you’re done driving till the afternoon.
2. Know your alternative routes on and off Cape Cod.
The worst traffic is on the approaches to the Sagamore bridge heading off Cape. It is possible to avoid this by using the Bourne Bridge instead which experiences less congestion. An example of this was the Sunday after the Fourth of July, the Sagamore had a reported 25-mile backup while the Bourne bridge had a 2-mile backup. While traffic usually is not quite so ferocious it can be more than worth your time to pursue some of these Alternative Routes off Cape Cod.
Outer Cape Cod to the Bourne Bridge via Route 28.
Outer Cape Cod to the Bourne Bridge via Route 6A
Chatham/Harwich to the Bourne Bridge via Route 28.
3. Avoid making left-hand turns on busy roads.
Out running errands? If at all possible avoid making left-hand turns crossing traffic on busy roads. Not only can these be dangerous but it can take a while as well. If possible try to plan a route that minimizes the number of left-hand turns. An example of this would be if there is a store across the street from another and you have other stops to make further down the road. Go do those ones first and come back to the store across the street on your return trip. If possible try to plan the left turns that you do have to make so that you can take them at traffic lights. This is one rule we try our best to follow for both our cleaning teams and our linen delivery routes.
4. Know you local back roads.
Tired of the stress and grind of driving Cape Cod’s main roads? There are usually alternative back-roads offer a much more relaxed drive. Technology has only made these roads more accessible and some of them have a few hidden gems on them as well. Rules for driving these roads are simple, unless otherwise marked the speed limit is 30 mph, be courteous and mindful of joggers, walkers, bikers, pets & especially children!
5. Take care of yourself out there.
Stay hydrated! Wear polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes and wear sunscreen to protect your skin. Yes! You can get burnt while sitting in your car and its one of those half body burns too that you’ll likely tell people you got when you “fell asleep at the beach.”
On rotary’s and roundabouts
Rules are simple. Unless otherwise marked cars inside the rotary or roundabout have the right of way, oncoming cars must yield (stop if there’s traffic inside the rotary/roundabout go if clear).
Between the Bourne and Sagamore bridges, there are eight lanes of roadway capacity. Has Mass DOT considered designating two lanes westbound and six lanes eastbound when travel from the mainland to the Cape is at peak demand, and the reverse when travel from the Cape to the mainland is at peak demand? During periods of normal demand, both bridges could still be operated with two lanes eastbound and two lanes westbound, for a total of four lanes each way. Routes 6 and 6A on opposite sides of the Cape Cod Canal could also operate as one-way highways during these peak periods. Does any type of this “contra flow” highway operation occur during a hurricane evacuation?
Hi Joe it has been awhile since it was needed but yes during a hurricane evacuation they do adjust the traffic flow and use the lanes for off cape traffic. With a cavitate that if there are sustained wind speeds over 70mph that they have to close the bridges.