A few weeks ago I wrote a post whining about my daily commute of 2-3 hours:
If you’re keeping track, that means that it takes me about 45 minutes to cover 35 miles of the commute and approximately 30 minutes to cover the other 6.
It stands to reason that right after writing it… it got worse. Considerably worse. The six mile tract became nine miles and instead of taking 40% of the commute it’s well over half. The “average” drive to the extent that there is one went up from 1:15 to about 1:30 and the number of days that it’s worse than that have gone up to once a week or so to at least twice a week.
The reason, I think, is that school got back in session. The full effects of this was masked the first couple of weeks by a teachers strike in New City and the fact that some of the local colleges started a little bit late.
Peter suggested (which I was already thinking) that I might just avoid the Splinterstate where all of the traffic is and instead go through the metropolis of Zaulem. I tried doing that but unfortunately it didn’t do a whole lot of good. At least I don’t think it did. There is a very, very helpful sign on I-3 on the drive up that tells me how many minutes it is to New City and how many to Zaulem. That actually gives me a heads up as to which route might be quicker. The Zaulem route has me going from Soundview (where I live) to Zaulem, Zaulem to New City, then New City to Enterprise where I work. I’ve determined that the trip from Zaulem to New City takes about 17 minutes or so. So if the difference on the light-distance sign is over 15 I go through Zaulem or otherwise I go straight on New City. I don’t know that it’s saving me time either way, but even if it’s not saving time the Zaulem route is more interested and switching routes punches up my routine a little, which is good.
It’s really strange to me how the window in the morning is some two or three hours of incomparable traffic hell wherein I honestly don’t know if leaving at 6:45 is any better or worse than leaving at 8:15 or at any point in between (though leaving at 7:30-45 does seem to be the worst)… and yet in the evening if I just wait for an extra hour the traffic is only a fraction as bad and I can usually make it home in an hour or so. Leaving right at the 5:00 bell is pretty bad, but it seems to get a lot better relatively quickly. On the other hand, the one day I left 90 minutes early (at 3:30), traffic was pretty awful. So it seems that the bulk of traffic hurts those that are getting there late and leaving early. Is Mindstorm (and/or any other employers in Enterprise) a company of get-there-late-leave-early slackers? Doesn’t seem to be, but that is what the traffic patterns would suggest.
What’s a little bit strange about that (to me) is that is contrary to my previous commuting experience. Usually it’s the drive home that’s worse than the drive to. It was 50% longer on my way home in Soyokaze in Estacado and Wildcat in Colosse. More often than not it’s about the same, though. This is the first time than the morning has been worse than the late afternoon.