Life on the Highway — On Friday Afternoon

Courtesy of the New NY Bridge

Courtesy of the New NY Bridge

Yesterday afternoon I went to Nyack.

This six-word sentence quietly says traffic, frequent braking, lane changes, and more — wish I’d remembered what came to mind, or had jotted notes. My plan was to leave early and avoid the congestion; when the afternoon got away from me, curiosity came along for the ride (pardon the pun).

I’m sure the experience will be different on the new bridge (depicted above).

I left at 3:40 p.m. for the half-hour trip to Rockland County (Tarrytown is a mere 20 minutes on a good day) and hit westbound traffic on the NYS Thruway. Exiting the Sprain Brook Parkway was tricky, since the highway divides (and drivers think — as I did the first time I encountered it — that if they don’t choose the left lane, they’ll miss the exit to the Thruway).

Not so, which makes that division more confusing; however, I digress. I saw the Thruway traffic from the exit ramp; commuters eager to get home after a long day would be less pleased, especially if they were traveling from White Plains Train Station — which they would have to do if they rode a commuter bus to that station each day.

Checking the sea of metal, glass and wheels snaking ahead, I exited I-287 before it merged with I-87, zipped along Route 119, and then re-entered the Thruway.

Bridge traffic was out in full force, despite the movable barrier adding an extra westbound lane. For a few minutes my car was next to a Tappan ZEExpress bus, which braked in the lane next to me. Trucks that had difficulty with the incline provided ample opportunities to change lanes, which I did; a bus would have difficulty doing that.

Stop-and-go traffic that often crawled made me grin when I passed a 55 MPH speed limit sign. A few times I made it to 40 MPH, then slowed to 20, then braked; I changed lanes and made better time behind the bus than behind another car.

I sincerely hope the Mass Transit Task Force finds solutions amenable to all without adding extra time to commuters’ days — or to their frustration levels.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

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