The Commute From Hell

I’ve worked in Columbus since 1986.  This morning was the worst commute I’ve ever had here.  I’m not exaggerating.  It took me two hours to complete a drive that normally takes about 25 minutes, and I’m not quite sure where and how the breakdown occurred.

Sure, it started snowing about 4 a.m. — but the snow was forecast long ago, and you’d think the authorities would have been prepared with salt and snowplow.  Instead, when I hit 161 at 6:45 a.m., which is about 15 minutes earlier than normal, the roads were completely snow covered, there were several icy patches, and the traffic was inching along at the breakneck clip of about two miles an hour — with frequent stops mixed in. 

IMG_1653The worst thing about such a commute is that there is no way to make a right decision.  My theory is that lane movement is pretty consistent from lane to lane and therefore frequent lane changes don’t provide an advantage until you reach a point where normal traffic flow would warrant a shift. In snow, however, many people drive like idiots, and when rush hour is a disaster they become even more reckless.  This morning school buses and tractor trailers were trying to use merge lanes to pass long lines of cars on the right and then jam back into the flow.  Obviously, that didn’t help.   

This isn’t New York City or another metropolis where two hour commutes are standard.  People come to Columbus to get away from this kind of frustrating, infuriating, nerve-jangling disaster.  Today reminded me precisely why we made that decision.  When I finally got to my parking space, the new-fallen snow looked very pretty on the trees lining Gay Street, and I calmed down and enjoyed the pretty sight.  I just hope I never have a commute like that again.