Thursday, August 06, 2009


Last night on the way home there was a rather large accident on one of
the main roads (Rt. 25 for locals) involving downed wires. Brian and
I encountered it shortly after it had occurred. All we could see was
about a dozen emergency vehicles spread over about a half mile of
road. While crawling through an improvised local laneway detour I
heard what is possibly the scariest traffic report I've ever heard,
even after living in NJ/NY for almost 10 years. The radio traffic
reports were advising people to turn around, go back to Rt 347 and
take it south to Portion Rd to go around.

For those local to me, you'll understand the full horror of this. For
those of you not on Long Island, think of the worst, most congested
road in your area and make it twice as bad. Then double that. If you
take 347 during regular rush hours (3:30pm-7pm), expect a travel speed
of roughly 6 miles/hour. On a normal night… For those of you in NJ,
it's worse than Route 1. By a fair margin. And they were advising
people who have finally, blissfully gotten off Rt 347 to get right
back on and go back ~ 3 miles. I think if I'd been crawling on 347
and heard that I'd have just pulled in some place and gone for dinner.
Though as it turns out, that wouldn't have helped much. The accident
and repairs were serious enough that they still hadn't reopened Rt. 25
this morning when I left for work.

On the flip side of that, however, was my drive into work today. I've
started getting up really early so I can miss most of the traffic.
Given that Rt. 25 was still closed this morning, I expected my normal
route to have more traffic than normal. So I left ~15 minutes early.
Apparently, no-one else had that idea. I'm bombing down the leftmost
lane on the Long Island Expressway (another road deservedly notorious
for its traffic nightmares) in fairly light traffic and realize that
I'm just not keeping up with the cars in my lane. And I *think* I'm
going fast enough that I shouldn't be acting like a cork in the left
lane. (Cork, as in bottleneck, as in everyone is pulling into the
middle lane to blow past me…) I look down at my speedometer to double
check and discover that I'm doing 80mph. And being left behind like
I'm standing still. On the LIE. Which is a 55mph highway…

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