Summer is right around the corner, and this is usually exciting for most people. But after that initial jolt, the reality sets in. Nothing is for free, and with all the joy that summer brings, it also has its costs. Certain issues such as childcare, getting that beach bod ready, and dealing with the oppressive temperatures come to mind, but few things are as frustrating as transportation.
While we are happy not to deal with the winter transportation issues such as snow, salt, and ice, summer brings with it an entirely new set of factors with which we must contend. Below are 3 common summer transportation problems that you must consider and plan for in order to get past the irritation and get straight to the fun.
Traffic & Congestion
We have all been there – trying to get out of work early or get the kids together fast enough to beat the traffic to the beach only to find that everyone else had the same idea. The summertime seems to create conditions for the perfect storm of traffic. Not only do more vacationers (and therefore cars) on the road increase the potential for road rage, but many travelers are not familiar with the layout of or the path to their destinations. This can cause problems like getting lost and moving at slower speeds while trying to get oriented. In addition to more drivers, with school being out less experienced drivers flood the roads which leads to more accidents, and therefore more possible traffic. Cars must also now share the road with bikers and cyclists wanting to take advantage of the warm weather. This limits space on the road and increases the need for caution. Finally, with summer being a popular time for construction, more road work generally means more traffic.
While we all know how painful a hot summer is on our bodies, we often overlook the amount of damage it can cause to our modes of transportation. If you treat your car with the same care as you would any system or living organism, it will reward you by keeping you safe. For example, air conditioning systems go from winter hibernation to full force in a matter of days. Everyone should stretch before a work out, so make sure to run it for a few hours in advance and pay attention to any strange smells or odors. Also, heat expands the air in the tires changing the pressure and causing potential blow outs. It is important to remove snow tires and check them frequently. Harsh sun can cause excessive wear on parts such as hoses and drive belts as well as overheat engines. Whether it is a car, bus, or motorcycle, checking in with your vehicle on a regular basis will keep it running at its optimal performance. Don’t forget about your vehicles most important component – the passengers! Risk of dehydration increases during summer months even in cars as people can be stuck in vehicles for long stretches during road trips. Keep water and coolant handy and pull over if there are any concerns at all.
With an increase in markets, festivals, and events taking place during the summer, the need for reliable parking becomes that much more important. That said, more cars are trying to fill the same amount of spots so what may have once been adequate quickly becomes less than ideal. Furthermore, airport parking is limited due to more vacations. Challenges will also vary according to the city. For example, the beautiful farmers markets in Chicago or the large number of activities in Millennium Park may make downtown parking difficult. Bigger cities like this are notorious for traffic problems and it can really put a damper on summer activities. Fortunately sharing economy parking is an option and peer-to-peer alternatives are out there to help solve this problem.
These issues are not only an annoyance, but can also become quite costly to repair. Contact us to learn more about parking solutions as well as other ways to beat the heat this summer.