Traffic Inbox: Heavy traffic is bad at Palm Bay, Malabar exists on I-95

By Ryan Harper, Traffic Anchor
Last Updated: Monday, August 28, 2017, 10:21 AM EDT

Susan Beekman lives in southern Brevard County and she has a question regarding afternoon rush-hour traffic along Interstate 95.

  • Traffic gets bad at Palm Bay, Malabar exits on I-95
  • Resident says 'seems like an accident waiting to happen'

At the Palm Bay Road and Malabar Road exits, congestion gets so heavy that traffic gets backed up to the off-ramp and onto the interstate, Beekman stated.

"My question is what is the proper way of handling that? Should the drivers coming to the off-ramp move over to the shoulder during heavy traffic or stay in the right lane? Seems like an accident waiting to happen," she wrote.

Beekman wishes she could avoid seeing delays along I-95 in southern Brevard County.

"Right now, with us being new to the area, it's the only consistent way that I know to go home! There's a lot of other people I know, people I work with, people we're friends with that absolutely avoid I-95 in that area at that time of day,” she said.

She claims the delays occur here at the Malabar Road exits and Palm Bay Road exits like clockwork during rush hours.

"Every day, between usually 5 and 6 p.m. coming down 95 southbound towards the Malabar exit, there are consistent backups of anywhere to a half a mile to three miles depending on how many accidents there are at that given time,” said Beekman.

We checked out the area and during rush hours, you can expect the off-ramp traffic to spill back out on the interstate. Beekman says once you are stuck that is when the real danger begins.

"You know where you're going and you know that you're heading in the right direction, but you've got semi tractor-trailers going passed you at 70 miles an hour two lanes,” said Beekman. “And in addition to that: People who don't necessarily pay attention to speed limits and again when people aren't in the right lane and want to get over at the last second."

She wonders whether those people have the right idea, skirting off to the shoulder to avoid the dangers of drivers doing 70 miles per hour just feet from their driver's side window.

"I stay in the right-hand lane because that is the travel lane, that's where I'm supposed to be, that is my exit,” said Beekman. “People start moving off to the shoulder, but then nobody will let them back in."

Here's what the Florida Highway Patrol said:

"Drivers are required to stay in the travel lane while waiting to exit off of I-95. The emergency lane is to be utilized by cars that are disabled or stopped due to emergency. Cars should not be driving on the paved shoulder.”

We also checked in with the Florida Department of Transportation to see if any solutions were in the works to alleviate that congestion spilling onto the interstate.

“The traffic signals at the ramps for I-95 and Malabar Road will be retimed this fiscal year (our fiscal year starts in July). This is per procedure as we typically do retiming on signals every three years to ensure that signal timings are still working efficiently — we look for things like traffic patterns that may have changed, which could impact signal timings. We are also working on a long term improvement project for this particular area,” FDOT stated.

Thanks for your question Susan.

Check LIVE Traffic

View our Real Time Traffic Map and check cameras on Central Florida's major roads.

If you have a traffic question, Ryan Harper can answer it. Send him your question.