Friday, January 25, 2008

Oh, the traffic!

For a couple of weeks now, I've had a routine of counting the number of cars that cross my path in the morning on my drive to work -- specifically, I count how many cars I have to wait on in order to cross the street at each intersection.

Now, you might want to know that I drive down one street, Chestnut, from Thirteenth to Third (and yes, the formal names of the streets are spelled out here.) The main north-south street along my path is Fifth Street. Seventh Street is the heaviest secondary north-south street.

This morning I didn't have to wait on a single car! Not one! I thought for a minute the cable truck at Fourth Street was going to snag me, but sure enough, he cleared the intersection before I completed my stop at the stop sign.

One morning I hit it at the wrong time on Fifth Street. Cars were piled up everywhere. I had to wait for 10 (yes! Ten!) cars to cross before I could go.

I guess that's the hazard of crossing a four-lane road in the morning in the big town.

Most days the commute takes me two or three minutes. I think it took FOUR MINUTES to get to work that day. What's cool is that I have time to look at the drivers, and most days I know those people crossing my path. I see teachers, librarians, city office workers and others that I talk with regularly.

It's also fun in a voyeuristic sort of way driving through the one historic neighborhood in our town. It's pure coincidence that these are the people I've gotten to know best here. The old houses are charming, especially in the early-morning light. And there's a bit of something incongruent seeing these people leave their stately, well-ordered and preserved homes and rushing off in their SUVs and mom-mobiles. I like that. I like seeing them scurry off to jobs where they have to pretend that they weren't running behind trying to get there.

It's also fun watching the city manager's secretary, a tall, dour woman, walking towards city hall dressed in jeans, a blazer and high-heeled boots with little fur cuffs.

What sort of dichotomous observations have you had about the people you see in the mornings?

1 comment:

drlobojo said...

I try not to do mornings most days.
When I do, I do it without humans.