The shore route, again
Today marked a most appreciated return to normalcy after my two horrendously early mornings. My worksite for the day was in southeastern Queens, not far from Kennedy Airport, and best of all I didn’t have to report until the dignified hour of 8 am. I knew that the Long Island Expressway and the Cross Island Parkway would be horror shows, however based on my recent trip to Long Beach I figured that the shoreline route would be a far-less-trafficked alternative. Leaving the house at 6, I figured there would be ample time for me to get to the worksite by 8.
The route was Sunrise Highway –> Robert Moses Causeway –> Ocean Parkway –> Meadowbrook/Loop Parkway –> Lido Beach Boulevard/Park Avenue (the main east-west route through Long Beach) –> Atlantic Beach Bridge –> Nassau Expressway –> Rockaway Boulevard. As expected, there wasn’t much traffic most of the way, though low clouds and occasional rain made the trip along the shore on Ocean Parkway quite gloomy. I had been a bit concerned about all the traffic lights through Long Beach, but apparently the Traffic Light Gods had heard my prayer and made most of them green.
One thing I hadn’t realized was that the Atlantic Beach Bridge had a toll, though at just two dollars it was substantially less obscene than usual. It’s owned by Nassau County, rather than the MTA or Port Authority, which accounts for the lower degree of toll obscenity. It’s also different than the other bridges and tunnels in that EZ Pass is not accepted.
Oh, about the aforementioned Traffic Light Gods? Once I got onto the Nassau Expressway – its name notwithstanding, it has several traffic lights – the Gods strangely deserted me. Or maybe my earlier prayers had lost their effectiveness. Whatever the case, I got every single one of the lights red, I am convinced they are deliberately timed so that happens. While stopped at one of them I had quite a surprise. Upon hearing a lour roar I looked up to see a huge airplane (an Eva Air 747-400) materialize out of a cloud bank a very short distance overhead. I hadn’t realized just how close I was to JFK. Anyway, even with the traffic lights I made it to the worksite in well under 90 minutes.
As I was able to leave by 3 pm I figured I’d beat most of the rush hour traffic and therefore decided to take the Southern State Parkway. It’s a less roundabout route than the shoreline route, and I wouldn’t have to deal with the gruesome traffic lights on the Nassau “Expressway.” At first, traffic on the Southern State was moving along at a nice clip, but all of a sudden, around Exit 19 in Hempstead, it slowed to a crawl. I have no idea why. It took almost ten minutes to cover the two miles or so to the Meadowbrook Parkway exit. I took the Meadowbrook to Ocean Parkway, which was a bit roundabout but a far better alternative than the comedy on the Southern State. My trip home was about an hour and 45 minutes.
Within a few minutes of getting home I had to leave for my weekly hot yoga session. It didn’t go terribly well, unfortunately, as I was still coping with the effects of Monday’s and Tuesday’s insane hours. It was just a minor setback, I’m sure next week will go much better.