Friday, March 31, 2017

Hell on Earth...

When I lived there, by most metrics Atlanta traffic was considered some of the worst in the nation, its rush hour snarls only exceeded by LA and the DC area. I am given to understand that in the intervening years the Houston metro area has gotten itself into that list of dubious honor, but that doens't make traffic in the ATL any more fun.

It was like a force of nature. You just accounted for it in the way you planned your life, to the extent that once I lived in-town, if I couldn't find work within a mile or two of home, I sought work outside the perimeter so that my commute was against the flow of traffic, rather than stuck in the gridlock.

This plan went awry when I got a job working evenings at Lawrenceville Airport. To compensate, I would leave home two hours before I had to clock in and arrive an hour and a half before my 6PM start time, rather than gamble on leaving an hour before my start time and arriving late.

This all came back to me seeing the I-85 fire in Atlanta, which is right where I got on the interstate at the start of my commute.

One thing about Atlanta commutes is that they're long. Mile-wise, the average Atlanta resident used to have a longer commute than any other major metro, although I don't know if that's changed.

A) Dahlonega, B) Atlanta Airport, C) Lawrenceville Airport, D) Pilot's house in SC, E) My apartment, F) Gun shop
When I worked third shift at the convenience store where Roswell Road crossed I-285, one of my morning regulars was a woman who was stopping to get coffee on her commute from Dahlonega to the Atlanta Airport. Go look at that on a map. When I worked at Lawrenceville Airport, one of our pilots commuted from his home just across the South Carolina state line. My own commute at the time, from home to gun store to airport to home, was 100 miles a day.