Monday, January 15

Choke point

I left the house at about 5:45 for today’s work assignment in Westchester County.  This was perhaps an earlier departure than strictly necessary as the work location, in the upscale town of Mamaroneck, is about 60 miles away and I didn’t need to be there until eight.   I knew, however, that if I left much later I’d run into very heavy traffic on the Long Island Expressway and the journey would take an eternity.  Better to arrive early than deal with all the distinctly un-funny traffic comedy.

Expressway traffic wasn’t too bad at this early hour.  There was a slow stretch between exits 39 and 37, but otherwise I cruised along at normal highway speeds.   What was pretty bad, however, was the exit (31N) from the Expressway to the northbound Cross Island Parkway.  It starts out as two lanes, a third lane enters from a local street – and then it narrows to one lane right before entering the Cross Island.  You can easily imagine how this narrowing causes significant backups.  It took me about five minutes to cover a distance that couldn’t have been more than a quarter-mile.  What really irks me is that the exit is not a legacy from decades-old highway design, but had been completely reconstructed only a few years ago.  It apparently did not occur to the highly paid highway engineers that losing two of three lanes would result in chaos.

Fortunately, once past that point it was an easy drive on the Cross Island and over the Throgs Neck Bridge, and there were no lines at the (obscene) tolls.   Once over the bridge it was only about ten miles to Mamaroneck, though it took longer than it should have because I got off I-95 at Exit 15 instead of Exit 17 like I should have.  I had to drive on Route 1 (known variously as the Boston Post Road and Main Street) right through New Rochelle.  While I’ve driven through that city countless times on I-95 this was the first time I can recall that I drove through the center of town.  I’d have to say that it was more run-down than I would have expected, though it got nicer east of downtown.  Even with this exit confusion I made it to the worksite by 7:10, only about 1:25 after leaving home.

Getting home was completely uneventful, mainly because I was able to leave by 2:00.  That enabled me to beat the traffic almost all the way, though it was just beginning to get a bit heavy by Exit 55 on the Long Island Expressway.  My return journey was about 1:15.  God only knows what it would have been like during rush hour.

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Published in: on January 16, 2013 at 3:35 am  Leave a Comment  

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