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We’ve Got…Gridlock

August 19, 2005


Couldn’t resist.

Anyway, school has started up once again, and here in Austin that means that our precious few months of light (relatively) traffic are now a thing of the past.

Every morning this week, traffic has just been stupid.  I really can’t think of another word for it.  Highways have been parking lots, and as a result so have access roads, and so on and so forth.  In June my commute took around fifteen to twenty minutes.  Yesterday?  Forty-five.  When it rained one day last week it took me an hour and a half to get to work.

I’ve tried leaving at different times.  8:00.  8:05.  8:15.  8:30.  Doesn’t help.  I come down Southwest Parkway, turn onto the access road, and…parking lot.  So today I tried something different.  I’m having to get up earlier these days, at 5:45 when the wife leaves for work, and so I figured why not leave the house earlier, too?

My thinking was that I could miss traffic, kick back at Seattle’s Best for an hour or so writing or reading, and then make the short (literally two blocks) journey to the office at around 8:30 or so.


I left at 7:15 this morning.  The sun was low in the sky, the grass was green in that way it is early in the morning.  Southwest Parkway was wide open.  And then I got to MoPac.

Yep.  Gridlock.

I can’t believe that neither the private sector nor the public sector has addressed the cancer of rush hour yet.  How much time does the bumper to bumper traffic waste?  How much gas?  I can promise you I’m not getting highway mileage when I’m coming to a complete stop every sixteen feet.  And what about employee morale?  It can’t be good having people report to work all frustrated and irritable.

Couldn’t work times be staggered?  Couldn’t telecommuting be encouraged?  What about half days?  Work from home in the morning, then come in for your meetings in the afternoon.  Sure, you’d still have to face evening rush hour, but you’d miss it in the morning, and there’d be one less car on the road.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2005 7:20 pm

    Welcome to the plight of the working man.

    You could always go into restaurant management – usaully you have to be there at 7:00am – miss traffic all together

  2. August 21, 2005 8:30 am

    Yeah, that’s pretty much Jamie’s plight. She doesn’t get to see the sunrise because she is aleady inside teaching…

    I just don’t seem to recall traffic being this absurd when living up north. Then again, I stayed away from the highways when I lived up there.

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