The Unusually Horrible Traffic This Morning

One of the many reasons I left L.A. more than a decade ago was to escape from the traffic. Since moving back east, I’ve been pretty lucky. For six years, I commuted by train, half an hour each way, and it was pleasant because I could read or sleep. Then I moved within two miles of my office and that was pretty incredible. There was never any traffic. I could walk if I wanted. I could go home for lunch. For the last three years, I’ve lived 5 miles from the office, almost always against traffic. It takes less than half an hour to drive in and that includes the time it takes to drop off both kids at their respective schools. If I’m not taking the kids, I my commute is 10-15 minutes tops.

On rare occasions there is some traffic. Usually it’s an accident or some unusual construction. This morning, I dropped the Little Miss off at her day care and was back in my car at 7:35am. Usually, that means sitting at my desk in my office no later than 7:50am or so. This morning, I wasn’t in my office until 8:30am.

Traffic going east on Route 50 was horrible. And it seemed to be because traffic on Route 27 was equally horrible. It was so bad, I assumed it had to be an accident of some kind with lanes closed and police activity. But as far as I can tell, there was no exterior cause. No lanes were closed. No police or fire trucks. No accident. Just lots and lots of awful traffic.

I have a kind of post-traumatic stress reaction to traffic. I get very quiet. I dig in my heels and stubbornly sit it out when I could find an alternate route. The smallest things annoy me and inside, I get myself pretty worked up. In ten years, I haven’t come as close to utter despair and frustration sitting in traffic as I did this morning.

But now it’s gone, and my frustration has vanished with it. Although I am still curious as to what might have been the cause.


    1. Thanks, Michael, I’ve corrected the typo. And it never occurred to me to call the police. I did consider switching to local broadcast radio to get a traffic report–but Sirius XM’s 80s on 8 station on my satellite radio was the only thing keeping me sane in the traffic.

  1. Where I live, my commute is about 15 minutes late at night (no traffic, great traffic lights); it’s about 25 minutes on the average Monday morning. When it’s raining hard it jumps to about 40 minutes. Two weeks ago, it was completely snarled. I was betting on an accident, when I heard it announced on my NPR station’s traffic report: “sun glare.” Seriously?? They make these things, they’re made of tinted glass and you wear them on your face when it’s bright out…


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