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Driving/Traffic Questions #202920
08/21/2019 03:01 PM
08/21/2019 03:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 14
Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
V
VegasCanadian Offline OP
Traveler
VegasCanadian  Offline OP
Traveler
V
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 14
Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
Travelling to St. Maarten for a week in March and other than a quick cruise ship stop it's our first visit. We've rented a car and i have a couple driving/traffic questions:

1. Will GPS (Google Maps) work on the island to help navigate around?
2. I keep hearing how bad traffic is particularly in the airport/simpson bay/maho area. If I'm staying in the Pelican Key area off Billy Folly road whats the best way or times to try to avoid a traffic mess?

Thanks in advance for the advice!

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Re: Driving/Traffic Questions [Re: VegasCanadian] #202924
08/21/2019 03:45 PM
08/21/2019 03:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,528
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
Traveler
RonDon  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,528
Rhode Island
GPS isn't necessary. You cannot get lost in the 37 square miles. A road cuts through the island, at Salt Pond, and one around . Off the ring road are several short roads (some dead end at the water. Not sure exactly where Pelican Cay is but if you're in Cole Bay area, which is the end of the causeway from the airport, right takes you to a round about up the hill on to Phillipsburg. Continuing left from there you head toward the French side, Oyster Bay, Orient Beach, Le Galion, Orient Village. If you take the middle road before town, by Salt Pond, you eventually come to the same area.

If at causeway in Cole Bay you turn left, you head into Marigot, the French side capitol. Beyond that the road goes up and down hills with water vistas, dirt rods to beaches, and eventually to the town of Grand Case, a fishing village with several great restaurants, and outdoor grills cooking ribs etc. If you drive past Grand Case and by the French side airport you'll eventually be near Orient area, the middle road or the ring road again.

The best thing to do is just drive, explore. Traffic is everywhere. School lets out around 4 pm adding to traffic.

Back to the drive: if you come from Cole Bay and the causeway, pass the airport to a round about ithen turn right is Maho area (you've avoided Simpson Bay this way), Casino, shops, High-rise hotel.s Then on to Cupecoy area where Porto Cupecoy is (I think someone already posted to you about the plaza here where children can play while you relax with a drink, food, ice cream) But before Porto Cupecoy and shot distance from Maho you'll see signs for Fat Tony's Pizza, and Spaghetti House on way to the University. There is also a small Carrefore market here with full line of American foods.

If you continue past Cupecoy the rod goes into the low lands where there are lots of villas. This road passes through Sandy Graund and into the Marigot waterfront.

Anyone will give you directions should you find yourself turned around. A basic map of the island will have these areas noted.

If all else fails post here and someone will help you, although I don't believe it'll be necessary.

Explore! Enjoy!

PS motorbikes think the center line of the road is for them so always be alert for them.

Last edited by RonDon; 08/21/2019 03:51 PM.
Re: Driving/Traffic Questions [Re: VegasCanadian] #202929
08/21/2019 03:55 PM
08/21/2019 03:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,644
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
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boucharda  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,644
Massachusetts
As was mentioned 4-6p traffic can be interesting and coming down Billy Folly Road should be planned to avoid bridge openings since traffic will back up on BF Road trying to turn left....AM also

Going through Marigot just avoid the around 1130-12 noon and 4-6pm times...

Causeway (near airport) from BF Road WILL save time going to Marigot and Orient....

Traffic sucks but I'd rather be in SXM traffic than at home traffic....

Last edited by boucharda; 08/21/2019 03:55 PM.
Re: Driving/Traffic Questions [Re: VegasCanadian] #202932
08/21/2019 04:05 PM
08/21/2019 04:05 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,528
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
Traveler
RonDon  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,528
Rhode Island
I've sent you a private message. Look for the flashing envelope near your name.

Boucharda is right about the bridge opening. Plus sometimes the Causeway opens too. And there's a bridge at Sandy Ground. I have the openings listed somewhere---have to find them.

Re: Driving/Traffic Questions [Re: VegasCanadian] #202944
08/21/2019 04:45 PM
08/21/2019 04:45 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 462
C
CaribLee Offline
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CaribLee  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 462
I downloaded the St. Maarten map from Google Maps before heading to the island. That way I didn't have to depend on a cell tower or wifi. I have been going to the island for 24 years and I still found it helpful when I was looking for directions to a specific place I had never been to.

Re: Driving/Traffic Questions [Re: VegasCanadian] #202945
08/21/2019 04:55 PM
08/21/2019 04:55 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 265
B
bizzottom Offline
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bizzottom  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 265
probably worst times are morning and afternoon work commuters

Re: Driving/Traffic Questions [Re: VegasCanadian] #202946
08/21/2019 04:56 PM
08/21/2019 04:56 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,528
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
Traveler
RonDon  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,528
Rhode Island
Depending when in March you'll be on island, the Heineken Regatta is March 4-8, 2020 and comes with it heavy traffic, and the necessity for restaurant reservations.

March 11- 15 there's a Music Festval at Happy Bay on the French Side.

Re: Driving/Traffic Questions [Re: RonDon] #202949
08/21/2019 05:05 PM
08/21/2019 05:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,936
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,936
Central Florida!
The Music Festival is not only at Happy Bay, but they have several other locations where they hold events.


Carol Hill
Re: Driving/Traffic Questions [Re: VegasCanadian] #202955
08/21/2019 05:58 PM
08/21/2019 05:58 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 873
Cobourg Ontario Canada
J
jeepers Offline
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jeepers  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 873
Cobourg Ontario Canada
If you are pulling out of anywhere quite often cars will stop in both directions & give a toot on the horn for you to go but be ready to get going. We seldom ever wait pulling off Friars Bay road to go left. Explore you will have fun!

Re: Driving/Traffic Questions [Re: jeepers] #202974
08/22/2019 07:47 AM
08/22/2019 07:47 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,528
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
Traveler
RonDon  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,528
Rhode Island
Originally Posted by jeepers
If you are pulling out of anywhere quite often cars will stop in both directions & give a toot on the horn for you to go but be ready to get going. We seldom ever wait pulling off Friars Bay road to go left. Explore you will have fun!


Yes, and they toot to thank you too. I'd forgotten that. First trip hubby said why does everyone keep blowing horns at us? then we realized it was only when we stopped to let someone into traffic.

Re: Driving/Traffic Questions [Re: VegasCanadian] #202990
08/22/2019 09:54 AM
08/22/2019 09:54 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 34
Arlen, TX
BillDauterive Offline
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BillDauterive  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 34
Arlen, TX
Here is a short story about my first trip to SXM....

We arrived at night. This was about 1993.... a lot less development around. Very dark. Anyway, so we sign the rental car papers (at the airport), and the guy who we were dealing with walks with us out to the "shuttle van." We load our luggage and climb in the back. Driver sits down, and reaches down to the floor with his right hand and grabs his can of Heineken and takes a nice, long drink. Nice. (I shoulda asked if he had one for me....)

So we get the car (white 4-door compact). Load luggage, and start driving. I had NO IDEA where I was going. And it was then that I noticed that the fuel gauge was BELOW empty. I was running on fumes in a foreign country, completely lost, completely dark outside.

Here's why I mention it. We found the resort long before we ran out of gas. Although I haven't been there in 15+ years, I remember that it's really difficult to get lost on that island. Either way you go, you can loop around... you'll get there.

One more thought... driving around and getting "lost." While doing this, we were able to see different restaurants, shops, resorts, beaches, etc. Nice way to learn the island.


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