Monday, November 12 – Wednesday, November 14

If I only knew on Monday …

This week began my foray into working one-day assignments at various worksites in Nassau and Queens.  Following a break for the week of Thanksgiving, I’ll be doing the same sort of work for the next two weeks, the one change being that I’ll have a couple of assignments in Brooklyn in addition to Nassau and Queens.

Working on these one-day assignments isn’t a bad thing.  Not that the sort of work varies too much from my normal stuff, but being in a new location each day adds a bit of variety to things.  When I headed into my Queens location on Monday, it was especially nice because traffic was the comparative breeze.  There were no tie-ups on the Long Island Expressway all the way into the Woodhaven Boulevard exit in central Queens, which was especially remarkable in that I was traveling closer to the heart of rush hour than usual due to a later starting time.  Getting home was just as easy.

What did not cross my mind until later is that the light traffic was likely a result of the fact that Monday was the official celebration of Veterans’ Day given that the actual holiday fell on a Sunday.  If I had any doubts over this matter they were settled once and for all on Tuesday morning.  Getting to a different Queens location took almost two hours, though in fairness (if the word “fairness” has any application whatsoever to traffic jams) a crash near Exit 41 made things worse.  Mostly, though, it was just heavy volume.  As also proved to be the case on my trip home, which was a bit better though still difficult.

The real horror show, however, awaited me on Wednesday.  My assignment for the day was in Inwood, a mostly industrial and commercial town in the extreme southwest corner of Nassau County near Kennedy Airport.  My plan was to get there via the Southern State Parkway to the Belt Parkway, though getting from the Belt to Inwood would require a bit of backtracking through Queens given the way the roads run.  What I was not planning on was the horrendously slow traffic on the Southern State.  I took me an hour to cover just 25 miles.  The very occasional stretch of free-flowing traffic always turned into a huge disappointment, for surely as the Sun rises in the east there’d be a sea of brake lights just around the next curve.  My total trip to Inwood, totaling about 50 miles, was over two hours.

It gets worse.  Getting home, once again a 50-mile trip, took two and a half hours.  That’s a “speed” of 20 mph for a journey that was mostly on limited-access roads.  Few things were as frustrating as seeing a sign for an exit from the Southern State, figuring that maybe traffic would clear after the exit, only to find that it actually got worse.  The Southern State remained a horror show to the very end, where there was a huge line of cars waiting to exit onto the Sunrise Highway.

I’m at a loss for trying to explain why things were so bad.  It’s unlikely that aftereffects of the storm could be to blame, as all roads in Nassau and Suffolk have reopened, except for the lightly used Ocean Parkway.  Do people get some sort of fetish about driving during rush hour traffic?  I really have no idea, all I can say is that I’m thankful Inwood was just a one-day deal.

Published in: on November 16, 2012 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

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