MapSphere Online News
by juliac, updated Aug 28 2018
Without a doubt, commuting adds extra time and money to your work day. Southern California is notorious for high commute times and traffic challenges; however, there are ways to make your commute more enjoyable.
Maneuvering the OC: Basic tips
If you’re new to the area, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed by the all of your navigation options. Check out the public transit in your area first; Metrolink, Vanpool, and Express Bus run from Orange County to surrounding areas. A lot of employers offer public transit and carpooling benefits, as well as incentives for biking. If you intend to cycle to work, make sure your bike is in good working order, and you have all the necessary gear.
If you’re driving, invest in a dashboard phone holder so you can safely use your navigation tools. Before you get on the road, you should always investigate traffic conditions along your route. Try using Waze or Google Maps; these apps will tell you which roads take to avoid construction, congestion, and accidents. They will also to help you choose the best routes and estimate drive times, which you can also access if you have a GPS built in to your car.
A general rule, inland and longer routes are faster in Orange County. The coast is densely populated, and highways—especially I-5—become packed because they tend to be the shortest route. However, there is often less frustration in taking a longer route, especially if you are able to move continuously. If you have to take the highway, try using the 73 instead of the 5, or 405. If it’s in your budget, Orange County toll roads are similarly less congested than main routes simply because many drivers don’t want to pay the fee. Additionally, be conscious of weather. Southern California is warm and sunny, and drivers aren’t accustomed to poor weather conditions. Rain is particularly dangerous and causes numerous accidents, because drivers tend to speed and aren’t used to wet roads.
Choose Your Transportation Wisely
Getting around Orange County takes a bit of planning. Getting from here to there will vary based on your location. The OC roads are usually packed with environmentally friendly cars, bicyclists, and eccentric skaters. If you’re from out west, you already know how environmentally conscious Californians are, especially the folks down in the OC. So when choosing your means of transportation, make sure you think like a local and Uber, drive electric, or maybe invest in some sweet rollerblades.
Avoid the Chaos
Orange County and the Los Angeles area can turn into real tourist traps, particularly during school breaks. Disneyland is right off the 5 in Anaheim, so you’ll want to avoid that area during spring, summer, and winter break times. If you must drive during the tourist season, try to leave early in the morning or later in the evening, and plan for extra drive time.
Like most urban areas, the busiest times to be on the road are between 7:30-9am and 3-6pm. Rush hour is worst on freeways, especially in the 30 miles surrounding Los Angeles. Whenever possible, don’t plan to drive into or out of LA on a Friday afternoon. Everyone is either fleeing the city or coming in for the weekend, and it is usually a traffic nightmare. Sunday afternoon is similar, as people are going leaving to be at work on Monday. This is a good argument for living as close to the city as possible if you’re planning on commuting from Orange County to LA.
Making Your Commute Worth It
Whether you’re driving or taking public transit, there are plenty of options to keep you occupied. Audiobooks, podcasts, and language learning apps are an educational alternative to the radio. If you’re ready to jam, create drive-time playlists to get you going in the morning or wind you down at the end of the day. If you don’t have time to catch up with friends and family, long commutes are excellent times to make some calls (hands free, of course). And, you can always go for silent reflection. Whatever you choose, make your commute worth the extra time.
by Deleted, updated May 25 2018
by juliac, updated May 03 2018
Traveling cross country has been a major part of American history. Beginning with the idea of Manifest Destiny in the early days of expansion into the western US and continuing today with cross country road trips, getting out and experiencing the many different parts of the United States is almost a part of the American identity.
Though nearly any mode of transportation offered today is a much better choice than the covered wagons of the 1800s, some cars are more cut out for the trip than others. Here are some of the five best cars for road trips.
A well known American classic, the Jeep Wrangler has been a top choice for road trips for generations. Designed with adventure in mind, the Wrangler has lots of features that can help with an extended road trip. The Wrangler is built on an incredibly capable 4 wheel drive platform, allowing it to access more places than most other vehicles. In addition to its off road capabilities, the Wrangler can handle pavement like a champ. Rated at 23 miles per gallon highway, the Wrangler can take you further than before.
The 2018 Wrangler is also safer than ever, featuring advanced front and side airbags, blind spot monitors and rear cross detection sensors, which help to alert drivers of nearby vehicles that can be hard to spot otherwise.
As one of the top selling crossover SUVs in the nation, the Mazda CX-5 makes for a great family car or ultimate road trip machine. The CX-5 was designed “for driving enjoyment and rejuvenation” and has plenty of features to help maximize comfort for both the driver and passengers.
The CX-5 uses Mazda’s i-Active All Wheel Drive system, which can adapt to changing road conditions, helping keep it safe in weather of all types. At 31 miles per gallon, fill ups are few and far between.
With seating for 5 adults, a power liftgate, premium sound and bluetooth connectivity, the CX-5 is built to keep you comfortable for the long haul.
A staple of the SUV market for a number of years, the Ford Explorer is one of the top vehicles for a road trip. The largest vehicle included on this list, the Explorer has seating for seven, meaning no friend or family member is ever left behind. Powered by Ford’s proven Ecoboost V6 engine, the Explorer has plenty of get up and go for the mountain passes of the west, while still making an estimated 24 miles per gallon on the highway.
Ford designed the Explorer with performance in mind and did not stop with the engine. The interior of the vehicle features up to four USB charging ports as well as premium audio options.
Safety-wise the Explorer is offered with Ford’s Safe and Smart package, which includes rain sensing wipers, auto high beam lights, and other features to keep you safe and sound mile after mile.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Looking to road trip in style? Look no further than the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Another American classic, the Corvette first debuted in 1953 and has been a favorite of car enthusiasts ever since. What the Corvette lacks in space, it makes up for in style and performance.
However, the Corvette is not for the faint of heart. With 650 horsepower and an estimated top speed of over 200 miles per hour, the Corvette is by far the sportiest car included on this list.
A top choice of adventurers everywhere, the Subaru Outback is a great road trip car. The Outback comes with integrated roof crossbars, which can be used to haul things like bikes, kayaks, or cargo. Subaru’s proven all wheel drive system offers drivers a safe and capable vehicle that excels both on and off the road.
The Outback is also available with Eyesight technology, which helps spot upcoming road hazards and keep you from drifting out of your lane.
For the extra adventurous, fold the seats down, set up a sleeping bag, and spend the night sleeping in the back!
by Grandinators, updated Apr 30 2018
Dio porco e StraPorco
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by tonattipoe, updated Apr 16 2018
by juliac, updated Apr 11 2018
Articles & Ideas
Tools for Planning
by juliac, updated Mar 09 2018
Key West offers numerous opportunities for adventure, sight seeing, and relaxation. The small island boasts clean beaches, an historic downtown, and homed a few famous literary figures such as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Frost. Key West is bursting at the seems with iconic restaurants, houses, and things to do.
Driving: This is considered to be one of the most scenic drives in the U.S.
Busses: Another picturesque ride in to the Keys.
Sailing: Believe it or not, sailing to Key West is one of the more popular routes of transposition. There are many full service marinas that welcome visitors, however, you’ll need to reserve your spot in advance.
Ferry Service: The Key West Express is a fun way of getting to the Island. Travel in style with a full bar serving up frozen drinks, indoor and outdoor seating, and an art gallery.
Flying: Charter planes are available via Air Key West.
by mtkraabel, updated Oct 20 2017