Friday, April 29

More than enough time

Today was ABC Insurance’s quarterly meeting at a hotel conference center in Rockland County.  It’s the third meeting in a row at the same venue.  Deciding when to leave is always a complicated issue.  It’s just about 80 miles door-to-door, but given that the route goes through some extremely congested areas there’s always the risk of traffic delays.  I figured that it would be much preferable to be too early than too late, so I left home at the ungodly hour of 5:30 am, a full three hours before the meeting was to begin.  My route was Long Island Expressway – Cross Island Parkway – Throgs Neck Bridge – Bruckner/Major Deegan Expressway – George Washington Bridge – Palisades Interstate Parkway.  Taking the Cross Bronx Expressway rather than the Bruckner/Deegan would have saved a few miles, but traffic on the Cross Bronx is almost always brutal.  As things turned out I did not encounter any particularly bad traffic.  In fact, at 7:15 I was on the Palisades Parkway within 15 minutes of the meeting venue.  Not wanting to arrive that early, I got off at the Alpine Scenic Overlook and walked around for a while.  The view from the top of the 250-foot cliffs is spectacular, though it’s a bit scary even though there’s a sturdy fence.

The meeting itself went pretty well.  Lunch featured grilled chicken, penne in marinara sauce, steamed broccoli with a bread crumb sauce, and an assortment of rolls.  All during the day there was an unlimited supply of Diet Coke, of which I partook in a copious manner.  Understand, I rate conferences and meeting by the quality and quantity of food.

Driving home was also relatively stress-free.  I followed the same route as in the morning, with two exceptions: the Cross Bronx Expressway rather than the Bruckner/Deegan (eastbound on the Cross Bronx is usually better than westbound), and the Clearview Expressway rather than the Cross Island Parkway (while still on the Throgs Neck I could see sluggish traffic on the Cross Island).  It took almost exactly two hours for the 80-mile trip, and that includes several minutes for a Diet Pepsi stop at a 7-11 just off the Long Island Expressway.  What was most assuredly not so pleasant was the exorbitant amount of bridge tolls.  $21 for the day, to be precise, $6.50 each way on the Throgs Neck and $8.00 eastbound only on the George Washington.  Absolutely obscene.  Especially since the construction bonds for both bridges were paid off many years ago (decades ago for the George Washington), and toll revenues are vastly in excess of upkeep costs.

Published in: on May 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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