Ninety minutes can make all the difference in the world
I began my last week of working in Mount Vernon with another easy drive of just over an hour. As usual I got to the worksite a half-hour early, but I’d rather wait in my car in the parking lot than be stuck in traffic as would be the case if I left later.
After finishing up work right at 3 pm, I was in for a very pleasant surprise – a close to a traffic-free ride home as I’ve ever encountered outside midday or late-night hours. There was no significant traffic except in a couple of spots on the Cross Island Parkway and near Exit 38 on the Expressway. The entire trip took me about 1:15, surely a record. While I had plenty of time to make a gym visit, I decided to take a night off and go on Tuesday. BIG mistake.
While Tuesday morning’s trip into work was easy, the ride home most definitely was not. This came as no surprise, however, as I didn’t leave work until 4:30 and therefore knew I’d be mired in the worst of rush hour traffic. After making it across the Throgs Neck Bridge easily enough I had a few brief moments in which I thought that maybe everything would be okay. While the Cross Island was a bit sluggish, things still didn’t seem too bad. Could lighter summer traffic volumes be giving me a much-desired break?
Rest assured that no breaks were to be had. Almost as soon as I got onto the Long Island Expressway and saw an electronic sign giving an estimated travel time of 43 minutes to Route 110 I knew this was stuff of which nightmares are made. Route 110 is right at the Nassau-Suffolk border and is less than 20 miles from the aforementioned sign’s location. It was about right, too. Traffic was stop-and-go most of the way with just a brief reprieve after the infamous Exit 38. Things were maybe a tiny bit better in Suffolk County, though we’re speaking in strictly relative terms here. It was 6:50 by the time I finally got home, for an excruciatingly long trip of 2:20. That’s close to two-and-a-half times as long as it took in the morning. Needless to say, I was too physically and mentally drained to think of the gym.
On a better note, on Tuesday evening I found out via e-mail of my worksite locations for next week through mid-September. I’ll be in a different location each day, as I had expected, but most of the locations are in Suffolk County and reasonably close-by. There are a few in Nassau, and two in the eastern part of Queens, but there’ll be no lengthy driving and, blessedly, no (obscene) tolls.