Yesterday had to be the absolute worst commuting day I have ever had that did not involve snow or Al Gore stopping the flow of traffic on the Turnpike.
For reasons still unknown to me, I chose to deviate from my standard drive route of:
1. the Palisades Parkway to
2. NJ Turnpike South to
3. Route 1 South and finally to Devina’s lovely home.
This is sloppily shown via this crappy diagram. You will see why it takes me several weeks to come up with a graphic design by my piss poor graphics work there. The highways are a little off, but I never went to school to be a damn cartographer so nyah. Though I bet you all love the Soprano image eh?? Eh? Eh?
Anyway, that trip is the shortest and fastest (assuming normal traffic holdups) way to get to and from work, which turns out being close to 65 miles (roughly a one hour drive).
So yesterday, instead of my tried and true method of getting home, I chose the Garden State Parkway (you can view that lovely diagram here). This takes me a little bit longer because of the billion tolls on that road, but it’s roughly the same amount of miles. Of course with my bad luck, it just so happened that yesterday there were a total of 5 accidents on the GSP going south bound. Thus, I figured I’d drive down to the exit for Route 78 and then take that to the Turnpike and continue on my merry way home. I then take the Route 78 exit and somehow manage to go West as opposed to East which was quite frustrating. Then while trying to get back onto 78 East, I managed to end up on Route 24 going West.
Not good at all.
I didn’t even know there was a Route 24 in New Jersey, but I happen to see a sign for Route 287 South in the distance. When I got my bearings straight on 287 South, I quickly realize that I ended up near exit 35 or 36.
My exit is 10. GRRRRRRREAT.
Traffic is moving along very quickly though and my now 80 mile shortcut will hopefully wind down rather quickly. Sadly this wasn’t so. In the distance, I see lots and lots and lots of red light with nothing moving. This is at around exit 14 which is the exit for Route 22 East.
So what was the reason for all of that traffic you may ask?
After a quick check on the radio, it turns out some moronic people just happened to stop on Route 287 near exit 12 to let a groundhog cross the highway (NO CHICKEN JOKES!!). Now, for those of you not native to this wonderous state, everyone generally drives around 80 mph on all highways and most are heavily used by 18-wheel trucks doing roughly that rate of speed. 287 just happens to be one of these highways.
An 18-wheeler plowed into those stopped vehicles killing 2 people and injuring several others because it did not have enough distance to stop. Yeah yeah, I know the groundhog shouldn’t have to lose it’s poor life, but let’s have some common sense here. If you’re driving in a residential area and you see Spot crossing the street, you can safely hit the brakes and stop because everyone behind you is going relatively slowly. If you’re gunning down a highway at 80 mph with trucks riding your ass and you see an animal, you bear down, hit the poor animal hopefully on the side of your car to minimize damage and prey it had a very quick death.
Why on Earth would anyone stupidly stop on a very fast and busy highway to let an animal pass when it’s dark out? Am I wrong on this one? Isn’t stopping on the driving lanes of a highway illegal in the first place?
Anyway, I managed to get onto Route 22 and then took the back roads to get home. All in all, it took me 2 and a half hours and 120 miles to get back home last night. How much does that suck? :sigh: