Traffic Patterns

My school is about 20 minutes away from my house, however, it can take anywhere from 30-60+ minutes to get there… depending on traffic. Having worked on the same block for just about 13 years, I’ve definitely come to notice some patterns in traffic.

Rainy days always mean heavier traffic. There are always more accidents, which equates to backed up volume. I’ve spent many a rainy day, sitting on the highway, listening to the monotonous sound of the windshield wipers going back and forth, back and forth.

When traffic on the highways get out of control, there is a mass exodus to the back roads. There are times, I’ve been stuck less than a mile from my school, for almost an hour. Watching the minutes tick by…15 more minutes to get there…5 more minutes to get there… Ultimately having to call the office to let them know, “I’m almost there…” In situations like these, I’ve contemplated just parking and walking the rest of the way. I hate being late.

Fridays are usually lighter days-but that can’t be counted on. Also, days that are holidays for some, but not us. Like Columbus Day. Columbus Day is always a great traffic day.

Then there is the business of Day Light Savings Time. Every year, when we change the clocks in the fall, when we fall back an hour, traffic seems to lighten up. It typically takes less time to get from my house to school. But as soon as we spring forward again, the travel time increases.  Every year when the traffic worsens again, I make a mental note to shift my alarm that I have somehow ticked later and later during the winter months.

I have a few theories that help me rationalize this change in traffic patterns. One, maybe people are adjusting their start and end times for work because of the time change? But the one I put more faith in, is landscapers. I think that right around April, all of the landscapers that have been hibernating all winter, make their grand re-entrance into the world and the highways. They are up early, wanting to make as much of the daylight hours as they can. The world is ready for spring cleaning.

I’m sure there is probably a more scientific explanation to the ebb and flow of traffic patterns in my area. For now, I’ll be thanking the landscapers for my earlier rise tomorrow.

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11 thoughts on “Traffic Patterns

  1. This is funny, that you have tried to analyze the patterns. My co-workers and I who live near each other also try to figure out why traffice is heavier than on other days of the week too!

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  2. Wondering where on earth you live? I hope that in your next life you don’t have to consider traffic patterns. I hate driving and can’t wait to free myself of the burden of a car.

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  3. I, too, find myself contemplating traffic patterns. I enjoyed all your noticings in this slice. And I grinned when you came to your explanation. How on earth did you ever arrive at landscapers? It’s still making me smile – I may need to blame them for more things now that I know. 🙂

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  4. “The world is ready for spring cleaning.” What a great line! This is such a fun reflective slice that spans time! Maybe you should send your slice to those people who actually study traffic!? Thanks for shRing!

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  5. I love your observations here! Traffic can definitely set the tone for your day. I’m celebrating this week because the district we live in is currently on Spring Break and there’s no traffic around my house in the mornings. 🙂

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  6. This is great. I’m not in a position to complain anymore, but I remember what it was like when I lived in Milford. I had the same reactions to rain and time shifts. In those days, my goal was to cross the river by 7. If I could do that, I was usually golden. I pictured thousands of people all leaving their houses right at 7 and immediately clogging every artery.
    I loved this line: Columbus Day is always a great traffic day.
    Truly a great way to look at the gas gauge half full. A grump would have said, “Of course it’s great; everybody else gets to sleep in today!”

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