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.