Commuters And Traffic — How Do You Do It?

I have worked second shift nearly all of my adult life. I don’t think I’ve ever worked a ‘real’ 9-to-5 job. Today was a good example I’ve made a wise choice. How do you commuters deal with the commute?

I had to be in New Haven this morning at 9:30. That meant traffic on Whitney Avenue in Hamden, traffic as I-91 approached I-95, then more traffic in Downtown New Haven&#185.

I just don’t have the patience for this!

This evening it was John Mongillo’s wake in North Haven. I left Hartford at 5:05 and crawled onto I-84… crawled through the tunnel… crawled on I-91 south.

Is there a secret method for dealing?

I’m driving a 2012 Subaru Legacy at the moment (roomy, comfy, economical, GREAT sound system). It helps a lot, but even it isn’t enough to make riding close enough to see the back tattoos on the driver in front of you palatable!

How do you daily commuters do it? How do my neighbors who work in New York City do it? Do you just grin and bear it? Does it just get easier with time?

Going in at 2:30 and home around midnight has spoiled me.

&#185 – I parked in a lot for a little over two hours. $12! Really? It’s New Haven. I know how to manually open the gate for the parking lot at the old place, but I didn’t dare.

12 thoughts on “Commuters And Traffic — How Do You Do It?”

  1. Of course if speed limits were raised about 10-20mph more, that would help. Others need to realize that the I-95S merge from I-91S is now two lanes. I have no trouble when flow permits to blow through it at 60-65 mph.

    When I get on the Exit 8 onramp for I-91S, I never use the brakes. As soon as I round the apex of the last bend coming uphill, I’m on the gas pretty good. Anyone in front of me who decides to use the brakes on the highway when theres a decent gap in front of me generally gets the horn treatment.

    People need to learn that 35 on the highway is not allowed and feels like a suicide request. I subscribe to the theory that most speed limits allow for +20 in dry conditions. You want me doing 55 on I-95? Sorry but thats for when it is just beginning to get covered with a thin film of snow.

  2. The commuting lifestyle. I did it for over 20 years and hated every moment of it. Then I got married and moved to Bethany and hated it even more! Last year I finally snapped and told the boss I just had to become a Full time telecommuter. Life is now much less stressful.

  3. I sit in 10-15 minutes of traffic every day going through Waterbury on I-84. It’s bad, but something I realize I can’t avoid…after all, having a job in this economy is a blessing! ESPN Radio and NPR on the iPhone help, as does occasionally taking back roads, even though any deviation from the highway adds 5-10 minutes to my drive. I think, in the end, one just has to accept that living in the Northeast = traffic!

  4. I’ve done it my entire career, and currently about 60mi each way which can range 1 to 3hrs depending on traffic and weather. We have a beautiful state and I know every highway, secondary, back road and horse trail to get me down county. That, talk radio, and jumbo coffee make it work.

  5. If you really want to test your endurance, do I95 through Fairfield County (New York line going North) at 5pm. I prefer Boston…

  6. The farthest I’ve ever commuted was Wallingford to New Haven and 15 years ago maybe it wasn’t as bad as it is now.
    More recently it’s a 1 minute walk from my house to our office over the garage and I wouldn’t change it for anything!

  7. I used to work in Wilton. Live in Bridgeport. 15 miles door to door. Took me 7 min to get to the parkway in Fairfield, where it then took me 40 min to get through the famed “No Exit Zone” between the on-ramp at Black Rock Tpke and the Route 57 exit less than 7 miles later. 40 min to go less than 7 MILES!!! Which I never understood b/c there was no entering and exiting traffic to slow you down. I had to allow an hour to get to work. 15 miles away.
    Now, I work 3 miles from home. Pay is about $800 a month less than I was making but…MUCH LESS STRESS.

  8. I commute about 32-38 miles one way in Southern California every weekday during prime drive time. It can take 3 hours on a bad day, 45 minutes on a good one.

    You get used to it. Radio traffic reports, a traffic-aware GPS, and a big cup of tea is how I do it, secure in the knowledge that my job allows me to get there when I get there. Good thing I have an understanding boss…

    Yep, its a severe form of masochism!

    Stever Martin’s movie ‘LA story’ really shows what the commute can be like–side streets, neighborhoods, runs miles out of the way, just to a void a bit of traffic. Some days I just give up and stay home–do everythign over the phone if need be.

    Good thing I love my job (most days) and can do it that way.

  9. My Litchfield County commute is an hour from the top of the state to Kent. Not a single light, just the occasional slow pokes in front who forget that the roads were not built exclusively for them. Otherwise, sweet.

    Can’t understand the whole traffic-jam-every-day commuter thing. I’d bloody kill myself.

  10. This is why we need much more public transit, not less. If there were a commuter train line between New Haven and Hartford, and between Hartford and its suburbs, life for everyone would be much more pleasant.

    I commute into NYC a few days a month, but it’s all via train so at least I can get some reading (or napping 🙂 done along the way.

    Years ago, I lived in northern NJ and worked in Milford. 100 miles each way, 5 days a week for 3 solid years. At least it was against the worst of the traffic, but I have no clue what the hell I was thinking. I was the best-informed I’ve ever been in my life, though — I heard both Morning Edition and All Things Considered in their entirety every day!

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