Monday, December 3

Wild goose chase

I was scheduled to be in Arverne today, the same location on the Rockaway Peninsula where I had been one week ago.  Given the roundabout route I had to follow to get there by train, plus the fact that I’ve already ridden the temporary H subway shuttle, I figured it would be better to drive.  I took the Long Island Expressway to Woodhaven Boulevard, leaving home around 5:45, and I have to say that traffic wasn’t too bad.  Only a few minor slowdowns in Nassau and then in Queens, but really nothing to complain about.  Woodhaven Boulevard has traffic lights galore, but like Queens Boulevard they’re timed so that I was able to make decent progress.

South of Rockaway Boulevard, when Woodhaven Boulevard turns into Cross Bay Boulevard, the favorable light timing evaporated.  I was getting just about every light red, and even though there isn’t always a light at every intersection in this area, there are still more than enough to last  a hundred lifetimes.  I finally reached the first of two bridges over Jamaica Bay, which leads to Broad Channel Island.  First couple of miles on the island go through a wildlife refuge, and then there’s the community of Broad Channel itself.  It naturally had its share of traffic lights, not to mention piles of debris everywhere.  As far as I could tell all of the businesses along the road were closed and I suspect that most of the houses in the community are still uninhabitable, more than a month after the storm.

After Broad Channel comes another bridge, the one to the Rockaway Peninsula itself.  The Cross Bay Bridge has a toll, though at $3.25 it’s somewhat less obscene than most bridge tolls.  I didn’t think it would matter, because the tolls had been suspended after the storm.  It turns out that I had the privilege of crossing the bridge on the very first day that tolls had been reinstated.  I’m honored!  Once I crossed onto the peninsula I was in another heavily damaged area, Rockaway Park, though mostly intact Arverne was just a short distance away.

I got to my worksite about 7:30, and soon wondered why none of the other people from my team were there.  7:45 and 8:00 came and went with no one arriving.  After a call to my supervisor, and then to an executive with the company at whose site I was working, I found out there had been a last-minute change and I was supposed to be in central Queens.  This sort of mistake sounds weird but actually is not all that surprising given the nature of the work I do.  So I had to deal with the (semi) obscene bridge toll once again, and then all the comedy with the un-timed lights on Cross Bay Boulevard.  Fortunately, I was able to finish up at the new location by 2:15, and coupled with its location right off the Jackie Robinson Parkway I was able to beat most of the traffic and make it home by 3:40.

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Published in: on December 5, 2012 at 4:14 am  Leave a Comment  

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