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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Traffic

It's bad enough to have a long day. But when your long day is topped with a bumper-to-bumper commute on what's laughingly called a "freeway," it feels like the world has it in for you.

I had one of those days yesterday. It wore me out. When I got to the Colorado Street Bridge I was glad to be home (and no, I didn't take this picture during a Friday rush hour).

I used to be a radio traffic reporter. People would call in to ask about accidents, rules of the road, the back-up on the 605. Often they aired their traffic frustrations to me and I reminded them, as I reminded myself yesterday, that if you're not involved in the accident that created the backup you're sitting in, then someone out there is having a much worse day than you are.

Plus how often do you get to just sit and listen to the news? Yesterday was a fine day for that.

18 comments:

Mister Earl said...

Yes, perspective. Just the other day, my sister, who lives back east, posted this, "Yesterday I was detoured by police on the state route near my house. I was only a little put out by this, but I thought it was odd. It turns out one of the world's most knowledgeable ornithologists was killed in a crash half mile from here. Most likely ice and snow caused him to move into oncoming traffic and he hit a pick up truck. May he rest in peace."

Ted Thompson said...

I actually have a clip of you doing the traffic for, KCLU I think? Where did I put that...

Petrea said...

That's it, Mister Earl. It took me an hour and a half to get home from Sherman Oaks yesterday. But some people didn't get home.

Do you really, Ted? I'm honored. I think I have my old DJ tapes in the garage; if I don't get it digitized, pretty soon I won't be able to play it.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Very interesting, Petrea... I am usually not in traffic like that except when I travel (thankfully)... As long as I am not concerned about losing my way in a strange city I listen to National Public Radio for the stories... It sure helps pass the time

I would gladly listened to you, my friend, hehe...

Genie

Joanne said...

I like your 'tude, Petrea. Use that idle time to listen to the news, to tunes, to relax, and be glad we can.

Trish said...

traffic is one of the many reasons I left LA...not that I don't have traffic where I landed, but, most of the time, freeways ARE free-ways. My visit last month reinforced my ill will towards LA traffic.

the other night we were trying to get ~1 hour away to a meeting of songleaders. Two, count 'em, two accidents were in front of us closing parts of the highway to a standstill. All 5 of us sardined into a Corolla were grumbly b/c we wanted to get to the gathering, but we ALL said at nearly the same time "hope everyone is ok in the accidents", solemnly pondered a bit and decided to just sing our way to our 2 hour one way commute that evening. We've all known people who didn't come home from trips and singing is our outlet for those thoughts.

Traffic reporter...in LA...that's a full time job!

Petrea said...

Merci, Genie--and yes, NPR makes it so much better. Congress is discussing pulling the plug on NPR. We must make our voices heard about that.

Joanne, sometimes to stress or not to stress is our choice.

I wish it were full-time, Trish. Last I heard, the company that controls the work keeps most of the workers at a part-time level so they don't have to pay full-time benefits. I enjoyed it, but there's a reason I don't do it anymore.

pasadenapio said...

I'm grateful it takes me only 10 minutes to get to work on surface streets. I know so many who have an hour+ commute every day. No, thanks. Occasionally I have meetings at city halls throughout L.A. County (including downtown, Santa Monica, etc.). Those trips are good reminders to count my blessings.

maria said...

Well said Mz. P. I will keep that in mind the next time i am stuck in rush hour traffic.
Although for me it is a part of life. Being a native Angelino, I have been traveling on the 110, 405, 10, 5, 60, 210...etc. freeways pretty much all my life so for me its the norm. But i will say that it is certainly not the kind of "rush" i like.

Petrea said...

Maria, when you tell me it's always been part of your life my mind turns to statistics about how much time Angelinos spend in traffic. But let's not think that way. Let's think of it as "me time."

Petrea said...

Why I had to go fish PIO's comment out of the spam box is beyond me.
There's no good way to get to Santa Monica from here, is there? Just pray it's not a 4pm meeting.

altadenahiker said...

I believe Ted Thompson is a major fan. We look forward to the clip.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Thks for the info on your traffic reporting expertise. I'll keep it in mind. Hopefully, I'll need to call on you only on an annual basis.
But I rarely have to leave Pasadena to do work. Thk God! Those days of getting on the FW's everyday to go into LA, BH, & StMonica, etc are way in the past in my rearview mirror.

Petrea said...

Karin, Ted is one of those fans who became a friend. My luck.

Mine too, Cafe. Except once a week or so. My luck again.

Susan Campisi said...

Cool photo. When I first moved to L.A. I bemoaned the fact that it wasn't feasible to take public transportation to work. When would I have time to read the news? Then I discovered KPCC. It's a godsend.

Petrea said...

Same here, Susan. I used to get so much reading done on the El in Chicago. I still miss that--someone else doing the driving while I relax.

Steve Scauzillo said...

were you driving and shooting? Tsk tsk if it be true. (i've done it too; I need help!!!)

Petrea said...

Not this time, Steve. Someone else was driving.