We have revealed the specifics of public transport and the secrets of taxi services, so today we are answering the question of how Plovdiv residents drive. Driving a car in the city is becoming more and more complicated and unpleasant. Yes, you don't depend on the bus schedule and the taxi drivers' fares, but you plunge directly into the jungle of Plovdiv's traffic rules and the lack of parking spaces. There are more cars on the streets every day, and drivers' nerves are more and more difficult to control.
There are some peculiarities of driving a motor vehicle characteristic of our city, which it is good to know before sitting behind the wheel for a city drive.
The times of greatest traffic jams under the hills are usually between 7:30 - 09:00 in the morning and 05:00 to 06:30 in the evening
However, there are specific locations that always seem to have heavier traffic and you need patience to get through there. Everyone passing by the roundabout of the Water Palace and the two intersections of the Fair is certainly constantly practicing their stoicism, and especially during rush hour, they can easily watch at least one episode of a popular series or listen to a podcast until it is their turn to cross.
Pedestrians and their right-of-way
A more specific topic that can best be summed up this way: the pedestrian almost never has the right-of-way. That is why, often when receiving this right, he or she sincerely thanks the drivers, even with bows. Stopping on a zebra, unfortunately, in Plovdiv is almost wishful thinking and requires a lot of attention from those who decide to cross the lane. If one does stop and give way, don't trust blindly and keep looking for people crossing in the other lanes. If you are still in the right and the light is green for you, the right and left turners at the intersection will almost certainly force themselves to pass almost over your feet.
Plovdiv drivers and turn signals
This mystical signal is often missed in the city under the hills, and other road users would do well to have divination abilities for the future maneuvers of those around them. If a signal is made, it will be either at the last moment, so you have to slam on the brakes, or gradually – until you start to wonder if the driver around you is actually going to do anything. Therefore, keep the necessary distance and don’t be surprised by those who decide at the last moment to turn or change lanes, or even direction of travel.
Tolerance under the hills
Perhaps many of us will draw a parallel with the traffic in the megapolises of the world like Istanbul, for example, where even though there are dozens of lanes, with a little honking here and there, they will most likely let you change lanes. However, in Plovdiv, especially for drivers who don’t have local registration, drivers are not quite tolerant on the road. The person who wants to change lanes will take a lot of swearing, a sharp push of the horn and most likely will have to wait a long time. The more experienced and quick can sneak in quickly, but for everyone else - be patient.
The topic with the yellow light at the traffic lights
From childhood, we know the meaning of each color in the lighting system and we are taught that yellow is a signal for getting ready. Most often, however, among Plovdiv drivers it is perceived as permission to slowly enter the intersection and slightly pull forward to be first... at least to the next traffic light.
We have a separate and detailed article on parking under the hills, so if you don't know the city well, be sure to find out about free and available spaces, especially in the central area.
In the comments, you are free to share your impressions of driving in Plovdiv.