Lake County Motorist

Suburban Chicagoland commuter and motorist weblog

Behold! The flakes have power!

Who knew that a half inch of non-committal snowflakes had such power over the morning commute? These wily flakes were no match for salt, subzero temps and snow plows (wait, I didn’t see any snowplows). They wielded the power to stop traffic for miles around, with no other cause than their mere existence.

It’s January in Chicagoland and I figured motorists would have found their “snow feet” or “snow wheels” by now. Why oh why was traffic ever-so-heavy in Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire and Deerfield Wednesday morning? Fortunately, I didn’t see any accidents. So what was the culprit? Surely it wasn’t the little fluffy snowflakes rolling across the pavement. What was that? It was them? Those pesky snowflakes!

What was that? The snow slowed the speeders, too? Well, I guess that’s a good thing, considering the snowy road conditions. Ack! The snowflakes really do have the power!

(Really now: I advocate adjusting your driving pattern based on road conditions as well as the skill and ability of both vehicle and driver. Maybe that’s what people were doing, in more ways than one.)

Filed under: Commuting, ,

How to decide if your commute is too long

In her December 20 blog post, Penelope Trunk recounts many disadvantages of a long commute.

My commute is quite long, clocking in at over one hour and fifteen minutes in the morning. I’m not a stranger to long commutes, but this is my longest one yet. Coworkers who live near me say that their drives take anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes – but they leave home between 6 and 6:30 am. I struggle to arise early enough to be ready and out the door before 7am; 6am is a Mt. Everest-sized challenge for me.

Yet this is what people in distant Chicago suburbs often do to get to work without spending hours in traffic: Rise at 5am, go to bed by 9PM, repeat the next day, adjust as needed for weather conditions and road construction.

Metra is an option that I utilize whenever I can. The train allows me to have a reliable work arrival time, sleep as late as possible in the morning and arrive at work rested. It would be nice if some of the stations had more parking spaces (but that’s a topic for another post!)

Filed under: Commuting, ,

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