Usually, my commute is something I don't even have to think about. No traffic, no traffic lights, nothing but bucolic scenery and whatever music I have in the CD player. It's almost 30 miles one way, longer than I would like but for now it's the best option available. My Honda Accord wagon gets nearly 30 miles to the gallon, so even with gas prices I'm doing okay there.
But this summer, The Powers That Be have conspired to shut off every route I have to the south and west, in the name of Better Roads. My morning commute went like this: All was well until I entered Danish Town, where I saw a train sitting motionless on the tracks at the crossing. This town has a poorly placed siding that the railroad company likes to use right at Rush Hour in Danish Town. It basically cuts the town in half for upwards of twenty minutes sometimes. Yes, the local officials and state legislators have been on the case, so far to no avail.
I was able to cut to a southbound road out of town, taking the longer but in this case quicker route through Quarry Town. But as I came within a mile of crossing the river into town, I encountered a flag person, dressed in the usual day-glow prison garb, with STOP sign firmly turned my direction. I had enough time to get out of the car and close the back hatch more firmly. I was also blasting an Iris DeMent CD I hadn't listened to for a while. "Our Town" always makes me cry.
Ten minutes later the queue of traffic gets the go-ahead. I drive through town, past Fred's house, and the rest of the drive is smooth sailing.
On the way home, I discover that Quarry Town has been for all practical purposes, shut down for road construction. I wanted to stop at the grocery store to pick up a few things, but the shortest route was at a standstill. I took the longer route, only to find that Main Street is down to one lane, also at a standstill. I detoured on the back streets to the grocery store, which was strangely empty. I guess.
There are three major entrances to Quarry Town, from the east, north, and west. It is, in my opinion, extremely poor planning to have them all basically shut down at the same time. Yes, the smooth new road surfaces will be lovely, but I pity the person clinging to life support in an ambulance who comes across this mess.