Friday, October 22, 2010


Traffic congestion has become insane on my daily commute.  You don't really notice traffic engineering until you see it done badly.  An area along my commute - Montage Mountain, if you're familiar with the area - has seen tremendous development in recent years:  office parks, a shopping mall, as well as the already-existing movie theater, baseball stadium, and ski resort.  Each afternoon that particular area suddenly disgorges thousands of vehicles onto Interstate 81, just a mile or so before a construction zone.  A sudden increase in traffic, three lanes becoming two, and the added slowdown of a construction zone all combine to produce a miles-long region where traffic crawls between zero and twenty miles per hour, until the Central Scranton Expressway exit taps off a significant number of cars.  Add in random and semi-random factors - movie end times, holiday shopping - and you have a variable, unpredictable mess.

The upshot of this is that I must now leave the house at least 75 minutes before the start of work to ensure that I can complete my thirty-six mile commute in time.  And even then there are no guarantees.

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