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Located 33 miles north of Miami

Greater Fort Lauderdale is a paradise for automobile tourists. One can cruise along the sunny seacoast. Or drive the variegated streets of this South Florida community, from the modern downtown area to the quaint shops area of Las Olas Boulevard. One can steer silently beside canals where manatees play or even the everglades with its colorfol birds and other wildlife.

The maximum speed limit on the expressways of Greater Fort Lauderdale is 55 mph. Drivers must wear seatbelts. So, too, must passengers in the front seat. Children under five years of age must ride in child safety seats.

Traffic in Fort Lauderdale usually moves smoothly, facilitated in part by the freedom given to drivers to make right turns at red lights after coming to a complete stop. Certain intersections do not qualify for the right-turn-after-red rule and are identified by signs. At these locations, drivers must wait for the traffic lights to signal them on.

The logic behind the layout and designations of streets (streets, courts, lanes, etc.) in Greater Fort Lauderdale is precise but, when described in detail to a newcomer, also overwhelming. There are, however, certain fundamental facts that one must know in order to get around.

If one is driving in a north-south direction, one will be traversing an "avenue," or perhaps a "drive." Or a highway.

One travels east and west, however, by means of a "street" or a "boulevard" or a road.

There is more to Fort Lauderdale's street naming conventions, which one can learn after a little experience with the area.

The charm of the Fort Lauderdale area also carries with it the seeds of a transportation problem. Countless canals, lakes, and other waterways crop up everywhere in this "Venice of America." A driver unfamiliar with the area can hardly just point his or her car in a particular direction and expect to get very far. Inevitably, a picturesque waterway of one sort or another bars the path of the unoriented driver.

This problem is solved by learning the list of major east-west and north-south highways, a task every Fort Lauderdale driver -- resident and visitor alike -- accomplishes early.