9.09.2010

Traffic

From thehalfling86's Photobucket
I heard somewhere that with the implementation of the Department Homeland Security in the early 2000s, came revamps of communications channels and policies among agencies in order to get them talking with and among each other. However, I noticed of late a severe lack in communication between communities in my area. Why else would everyone pick this month to begin work on major arterial roadways and especially, do so during rush hour?

Yes it's that strange traffic-ridden time of year again. Somewhere between kids going back to school, and mid-September there is always a bizarre traffic surge around rush hour on the roads where I travel through on my daily commute.

As an example...in Naperville IL there is some sort of partially dug out construction project at the South side of mostly all intersection corners on Ogden, between Washington and Iroquois. You can tell by the dug out curb cement and white and yellow flashing signals. Then this morning, major reconstruction of Ogden just West of I-355 that extends East of I-355 interfering with traffic flow into and out of I-355 and Eastbound on Ogden...particularly with the already busy left-turn lane at Finley Road. Once on Finley road, around a dangerous curve is an electronic traffic signal billboard, several cones, and various workers perilously perched under the I-355 ramp bridge overhead. If that's not bad enough, as soon as you get onto Butterfield Road in Downers Grove, off of Finley, there are usually police vehicle speed traps either around the Highland Avenue bridge or on one of the medians.

It really has become a bit much for me. This obstacle-ridden commute. I've always had to commute inhuman lengths to get to school and work, but I may very well need to take action to salvage what's left of my sanity. I can't always take I-88 because of traffic alerts I hear on the radio, that I wish to avoid. I have no choice but to live far West in (Eastern) Aurora and commute to Lombard for work. It's 19 or so miles that Google Maps mistakenly says will take 23 minutes using Rt 59 and I-88. Well let me tell you Google Maps, it takes 30-40 minutes alone to proceed through Rt 59 at 7:00 am, and another 30 to proceed through I-88...unless you're lucky and everyone stayed home that day (ha-ha!). The commute home always adds an extra 20 minutes on average, to the morning distance...as folks aren't in as much a hurry as when they need to get to work...or to their first cup of coffee whichever occurs first.

I've really been puzzled and frustrated by this traffic and commute conundrum. There truly is no tried and tested pattern identifiable in the traffic surges in my area. Any that I've noticed after 9 years of trying! Mondays and Tuesdays used to be bad, but now it's pretty much every day of the week. Thursday morning commutes are a little lighter for some reason. Of course, this could all be a conspiracy, where lots of construction areas supplemented by speed traps, equal frustrated speeders who get expensive tickets. Thankfully I haven't received any more speeding tickets since the two I got in January and February.

One of the solutions to this commuter conundrum that I've decided to test out, is an earlier workday start. My company offers flex schedule options that vary, and I've usually opted for the 5-day-a-week, 8 am to 4:30 pm schedule. I've taken a closer look at the other options this last time they distributed our forms, and selected a 7:30 am start that lets me out at 4:00 pm. I will have to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, but the resulting earlier commute...I am almost certain...will prove a lot less eventful and a little speedier. This doesn't kick in until early October, but I think I will manage for the three months this new schedule will be active. I then get to reup or change the schedule again. Time will tell...or maybe traffic will.