The Sun rises on the Sunrise
Now that I’m back to working in the satellite office, it’s time for some observations on what I sometimes think of as Suffolk’s other highway, namely the Sunrise Highway. Technically known as NY Route 27, the Sunrise is a bit schizophrenic in its setup as it travels almost the entire length of Long Island. It’s basically an ordinary city street near its start in Brooklyn and Queens, known mainly as Linden Boulevard. Once it hits the Nassau line the Sunrise Highway moniker begins but its character goes through only a partial transformation. It’s a very busy 4- and sometimes 6-lane road, a major commercial artery, but not a limited-access highway. There are traffic lights at the major intersections, and the tie-ups can be brutal. For most of the distance the LIRR’s Babylon line runs along the Sunrise’s northern side on an embankment, giving riders a good view of the heavy road traffic. And an opportunity to gloat as they speed past traffic jams, though of course any regular LIRR rider knows better than to gloat, given the railroad’s propensity for maddening delays. Businesses of all sorts line the Sunrise’s southern side, including a curiously large number of car dealers.
Right about at the Nassau-Suffolk line the Sunrise’s character goes through some major changes. First, it moves a bit to the north and no longer is right next to the LIRR line. For the next couple of miles businesses line it on both sides. And then, right where the LIRR Central Branch crosses on a trestle, the traffic lights stop. One moment you’re on a busy road with sidewalks and traffic lights, and the next you’re on a limited access highway. There are service roads on both sides, with many businesses (and even a few residences) lining them almost nonstop, so it’s not like you’re out in the country or anything. It stays this way, though growing progressively less busy and eventually losing the service roads, for something like 40 miles until Southampton. At that point it reverts to being a 4-lane and then 2-lane road with lights for the final 20 miles to Montauk, and especially in the summer can get some massive traffic jams at intersections.
Anyway … my driving on the Sunrise is on the limited-access portion, and I find it generally much less prone to heavy traffic than the Expressway. No comparison, really. In the afternoons there can be some delays where the road loses an eastbound lane going through the Connetequot State Park, fortunately my work schedule generally allows me to pass through just before things get bad. All in all I’d say that my rate of speed during rush hour is about twice what it would be on the Expressway. While it doesn’t much matter given the reasonable traffic, I actually could take the LIRR to work from the Patchogue station, the one downside being that my workplace is about a 20-minute walk from the nearest LIRR station. Still, it might be worth trying in nice weather, and the fact that a round-trip ticket is barely $5 makes the idea quite attractive given high gasoline prices.
Gym: I did some benching on Monday but ran out of energy rather quickly. Dunno why. Still, my numbers weren’t that bad: 6 x 135, 6 x 165, 4 x 185, 2 x 205, 3 x 4 x 225, 6 x 185. Other things intervened on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I wasn’t able to go.