How to Avoid Traffic in Pittsburgh

Post by 
Zoe Frantz

Sitting in traffic might seem like the bane of your existence, especially if you’re sitting in it every day. Whether it be morning or evening, weekday or weekend, it’s hard to avoid traffic in the Steel City. Continue reading for a list of the best tips to help you navigate this maze of bridges, tunnels, and traffic.

Play with Your Timing

You don’t have to be a Pittsburgh native to realize that any commute taken between 6AM and 10AM will be a little slower than usual. The weekdays often result in traffic as people head into work. Many people who work in Pittsburgh live outside the city, so the traffic into Downtown can be crazy.

While the traffic may be constant, it can’t always be at a standstill. We recommend leaving your house at different times, too. Consider getting to work earlier if it means your commute time is cut in half.

Remember what goes in must come out, so the morning traffic patterns will be the opposite in the afternoon, starting around 4PM and ending at 7PM. This means you should also consider leaving work at a different time if you want to avoid rush hour traffic home. 

If your weekday commute to Pittsburgh results in constant traffic, then experiment with a different schedule to find the timing that results in the shortest commute time.

Map Out Some Alternative Routes

If you find yourself stuck in traffic every morning, no matter what time you leave, maybe it’s time to find a different route. Pull up a map and look for two or more additional ways to complete a commute in Pittsburgh.

MapQuest is a great resource to visualize the various routes to take to your destination. It’s also a good idea to print out a paper map of your commute and use highlighters to explore various avenues. If the worst traffic you hit in Pittsburgh is on your way to work, ask co-workers if they know of a shortcut you have not thought of. Using an alternative route could cut time and traffic out of your daily commute.

And Actually Try Those Alternative Routes!

Now that you’ve taken the time to map out alternative routes, take the initiative to drive through them. Schedule additional time in your commute in case the new roads are a disaster, but you may find that a new route saves you tons of time. On paper, a different route may look better than others, but you can’t truly know until you drive through them.

Factors such as available lanes, speed limits, or stop lights could make the physically shorter roads an even longer commute. Without actually trying out your new routes, you can’t know how long they will take when factoring in Pittsburgh traffic.

Use a Navigation App with Live Updates

how to avoid traffic in Pittsburgh is using a navigation app

Timing is everything when it comes to traffic in Pittsburgh. A game changer in your daily commute could be using a navigation app with live updates. While you might know your route to work by heart, you can’t know when there are weather issues and accidents. A navigation app can provide you with live updates and alternative routes to avoid traffic in Pittsburgh. The most well known app for live updates is Waze, which allows users to input information about traffic conditions, road hazards, speed traps, and more.

A close second to using the Waze app for live updates is MapQuest. While it was originally designed to be a computer-based program to plan your route before leaving (and *gasp* print out the directions), MapQuest has progressed since the ‘90s, and has been updated to be a very useful application! MapQuest now offers an app with turn-by-turn navigation including handy features such as favoriting locations and night mode. The app even provides access to traffic cameras to see live updates of road conditions and traffic throughout Pittsburgh. 

As always, yinz can try your luck with either Apple and Google Maps. While these are tried and true navigation apps, they may lack some of the features that certain apps have such as live updates and user input. Give a new app a try to see if it can save you time on your commute through Pittsburgh.

Consider Alternative Modes of Transportation

If traffic in Pittsburgh is the worst part of your day, consider an alternative option. 

Save Time & The Planet!

There are many alternative modes of transportation available to Yinzers for a daily commute to work or a weekend night out. Check out a bus pass or how to access the T, Pittsburgh’s light rail system. These are fairly inexpensive and hassle-free options to consider instead of sitting in traffic for an hour each morning. And you can’t deny the environmental benefits of taking public transportation. You can even bring a book to pass the time during your commute!

Another option that saves time, money, and the planet would be scheduling a rideshare. Popular transportation apps such as Uber and Lyft now offer carpool options that are less expensive and better for the environment. Check out these programs today and consider if a rideshare program could save you a headache over sitting in traffic.


We hope these tips can help to make your commute through Pittsburgh traffic as smooth and painless as possible. Be sure to check out the rest of our blogs at for more tips, tricks, hacks, and suggestions!

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