Relocation: The Commute

Recap: I have been relocated to the San Jose area after living in Arizona for 11+ years. I grew up here, so I am not too shocked at what we have come back to. Today I will offer my observations of the commute, and the drivers, particularly how they have changed in the last 11 years.

When we left California in 2003, we lived in a small condo in South San Jose, near 101 and Bernal Road. I was fortunate that I worked at Cisco then, and I was able to ride the Light Rail end to end. About 45 minutes, restful, and it was paid for by Cisco.

Alas, I am not so lucky this time. We are not far from where we used to live, but I work in a pretty unaccessible spot by transit (well, not inaccessible, but it requires at least two bus legs and a lengthy light rail trip). Shortest travel time is 1:56, the most convenient connections is 2:17 in transit. And my employer doesn’t pick up the monthly pass.


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The crazies are back – bad drivers

My commute is a nice sedate 7.5 miles up a major street.  No freeways, no HOV lanes. A couple of schools so you get the dropoff madness, but in general it is a smooth trip. Heck, if you time it right, you can miss almost all the red lights on the way in.

Lately, the traffic load has gone up. Significantly. Not sure whether it is the seasonal uptick (the snow birds slowly making their trek back to the sunbelt), or just something in the water, but at my usual time, it has been heavy enough that traffic doesn’t flow at or slightly above the posted speed limit.

Well, living in Arizona, where compensation is all around (re: truck vs. penis) I am seeing a lot of aggressive, stupid driving. Cutting in and out of traffic lanes. Passing one car and immediately cutting it off. Squeezing between a gap that barely fits your vehicle. All to go maybe 2 mph faster in aggregate.

You are still going to have to stop at the next light. Or, if you run it (blushing) you will be waiting at the next light when I catch up to you.

Of course, this increases the likelihood of an accident, and alas, today I was rewarded with an extra 20 minutes to get by some idiot who tried to turn left in front of a Suburban. Minivan vs Suburban = unhappy commuters.

I am just going to the office.  I am never in a hurry. And I am watching for the zany antics. The Chandler po-po could fill the coffers ticketing these idiots.