Tech Note #665.9999999999: Driving in Hialeah

Miami-Dade County has some great places, some awful places, and some that are just plain confusing. Hialeah falls into the latter. It’s actually a pretty nice city, with some very unique customs… including what you do when you get behind the wheel. Did I mention they have their own transit system, in addition to Miami-Dade Transit? These might come in handy in Hialeah. Just saying.

Anyway… Here’s how the rules change in Hialeah.

Your vehicle

Your vehicle can be just as creatively and downright strangely modified as your house. I’ve seen a lot of very strange ones. Ted’s Sheds mounted in pickup trucks, pickup trucks with roofs over them built like the roof for a house (often used as a mobile produce stand), cars with large plywood trunks bolted to the roof, and even a truck with a hot tub mounted to the back have crossed my vision here and there. Most of the modifications are done for a practical sake and are really low budget – this is NOT an area where you’ll see old Cadillacs on 22″ spinnahz or anything.

Santeria

From my personal observation, this is the only reason any of this actually works. There are supernatural forces at work keeping everything in happy flux, and this is how they’re shaped. Do not be mad or annoyed that there are animal sacrifices in the road. (No, the roosters are NOT ROADKILL.) Just…. respect the fact that their spirits are keeping you alive right now and keeping Red Road from falling into the canal.

Traffic Lights

Consult your pineal gland. Fnord. Really, that’s about as much sense as they make. Hialeah DOES NOT have red light cameras. If you see an Axsis Of Evil, you’ve slipped out into another adjoining city – you survived! That being said, do not expect that your having a green light means that traffic in a conflicting direction will stop. Other drivers WILL NOT STOP at red lights. The signal timings in Hialeah are usually pretty nice; owing to the fact that Hialeah has no cameras, they were never adjusted to maximize violations and delays. That being said, they mean fuckall nothing, because nobody stops. Expect to see U-turns on red, left turns on red, etc. Actually, the only thing a red light means is “if you’re gonna run this, at least run it like a badass”. Make that left turn out of the right lane on red, to not do so would be wasting the opportunity to enjoy the brazen lawless life. The Hialeah police are too busy pulling people over for speeding on Okeechobee Road anyway. In the video below, there’s a cutout visible in a median to allow the second person in line for a red left turn signal to make the inevitable U-turn on red to do so without entering the intersection and getting T-boned or colliding head-on with conflicting traffic at a 90 degree angle to the left.

Speed Limits

Thirty to zero. This is to say, you should start off going about 30, then just shift into neutral and let your vehicle coast gradually to a stop right in the middle of the road. If you really want to get anywhere you need to filter down between the gradually slowing traffic in hopes that you won’t get trapped when the vehicle you’re stuck behind abruptly parks and begins offloading people and cargo in the middle of the road.

Parking

Everywhere is a parking space! ESPECIALLY the middle or right lane of any roadway, and this also applies to divided highways with room on each side for only one lane, such that parking on one side of the road with your barrel tile roofed pickup truck completely cockplugs it. The road also doubles as:

  • Loading dock
  • Visitor/guest parking
  • Impromptu party/reception space
  • Skate park
  • Basketball court
  • Warehouse cargo sorting space
  • Long term cargo container storage

Crashes

They happen. Constantly. Everywhere. Always. Maybe this is why Hialeah has so many hospitals, urgent care clinics, and is home to most of the county’s accident hotlines, which will help accident victims promptly file liability suits against the responsible driver’s insurance*, then conveniently fabricate a medical treatment program to get the money out of there. Owing to the speed limit, though, most crashes are pretty minor. Vehicles involved are to be left in the middle of the road for days on end.

 

Here’s some video footage of driving through Hialeah, so you have an idea of just how unique and amazing the city truly is.

 

 

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