Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Commute Sucks

It really does.

On an average day, assuming there's no traffic or road blockages, I spend about two hours commuting to and from work. It's much the same for the First Lady.

There was no real choice in the matter - I work an hour away in one direction, she works an hour away in another. Our apartment is almost exactly equidistant from the two points.

Having grown up in Houston and worked there for almost two years, I thought I had grown used to an unusually long commute. In fact, I sort of took a perverse pleasure in guzzling all that gas - I listened to my satellite radio; I handled all my phone calls; and I had plenty of time to come up with great story ideas.

But in the past year here in Florida, the almost endless driving has - in the words of Yglesias - slowly grinded my spirit into dust. To say nothing of my paycheck - last summer's gas prices nearly drove me insane and broke.

I really wish I could walk or bike to work, which almost certainly means that I'm officially no longer a Texan.

Anyway, I can certainly relate to the good people who've taken to the Internets in an effort for better public policy regarding transportation. Though I'm skeptical about the efficacy of an online petition, I really like the idea of having more non-driving options.

If you're like me, check out Transportation for America's site.


Anonymous said...

yeah, i can imagine your commute. there's no easy way to get from where you live to the job unless they transferred you. i took my 7 minute drive for granted until i had to drive 45 mins to work on Mondays. eek.

blackink said...

No doubt. A transfer would be luvrly. Not sure that's happening anytime soon, though.

I told you that 7 minutes sounded like a dream to me. But even if I could at least get my commute to half of what I'm doing now, I'd be ok.

So much wasted time in my car. I was always wondering why I wasn't productive as I was in Louisiana.

Knockout Ed said...

One of the reasons St Louis isn't so bad is that (in the city at least which is where i live) they have a very usable public transportation system. I don't even know how to drive ( I'm from NYC ) let alone want to imagine driving an 2 hours to and from work.

blackink said...

Yo, Ed ... good to hear from you, fam.

And from the times I've been to St. Louis, I can say that you're absolutely right. It was the rare major city in that I could get around relatively easy without use of a car. Then again, I was pretty much situated downtown each and every time I was there.

St. Louis has lots of suburbs, no? The transportation system must serve a lot of outlying areas.

Jack T. said...

This is why I love DC. I walk to the bus/metro (depending on which seems faster) and 5-10 mins later I'm in front of my building. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. I don't know if this will help you, but on the subject of transportation policy, there's this really interesting article from The Atlantic, which I really only read for TNC (and occasionally Sully): http://correspondents.theatlantic.com/richard_florida/2009/05/mega-regions_and_high-speed_rail.php

maria said...

i shouldn't say this, but i will. working from home rocks.

haven't seen the inside of an office in ...16.5 years, and, yes, i AM counting.

i use a tank of gas every 10-12 days. all my $$ is from tele-commuting arrangements, so i can even move.

i hate driving in FL. used to drive from FLL to MIA every day. soul-killing.

blackink said...

That's just disgusting, Maria. Show-off.

maria said...

i PAID my dues, young man!