Friday, September 26, 2003

Whew, what a morning! The traffic was hideous. Within ten minutes of leaving my house -- by which time I had already gone a few miles on the Schuylkill Expressway -- I heard on the radio that the Expressway was completely closed in both directions, because of a serious accident that took place on the wesbound side (which I use to get to work), a couple miles prior to where I exit. The DJ said, and I quote, "If you're on the Expressway, your best bet is to get off NOW". I was just reaching the 30th Street exit (this would be about 5 miles from my home) and I got off immediately. Even though this meant backtracking, and then adding 11 miles to my commute into the bargain, I headed toward I-95 South so I could completely avoid the Expressway.

Within the past couple of weeks, a different accident that closed the westbound lanes had the same detour that they were suggesting on the radio this morning, and as I recall, *those* roads were congested to the point of standstill almost right away. I figured that it'd take less time, and cause fewer ulcers, to drive the extra distance and avoid the traffic tieups on both the Expressway and the suggested alternate route. I was right... I only arrived 1/2 hour late to work. If I'd tried to follow the suggested detour, I'm certain I'd have arrived even later. Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to phone ahead to the manager at work and explain that I was detouring to avoid the traffic accident that'd closed the Expressway, so he was aware of the problem and understanding about it. (Thank God for cell phones.)

On my somewhat prolonged trip to Norristown, I got to hear the news reports of WHY the roads were fouled up. There'd been a five-vehicle accident involving three cars, a pickup truck, and a tractor trailor on the westbound side of the Expressway (which I use to go in to work). The eastbound lanes were also closed, so that two Medivac helicopters could bring injured people to a hospital.

I wish this job was easily accessible by SEPTA. In order to get to work by 8 am, I would have to catch the first of three connections (bus, regional rail line, bus) at 5:45 AM. Um, no thanks. That's way too early for me. Instead, I drive there, and use the time I saved to look for something closer to home on

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