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Old 11-26-2015, 11:50 AM   #41
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It isn't just work commutes.
We are building right now. Our new house will be 15 miles closer to middle of town.
My wife works part time. Based on her commute alone that will be 6000 fewer miles a year. With my driving and her non work driving it should add up to a total of 9000 fewer miles each year.

At an average of 45mph, that is an extra 200 hours each year.
That will also save us about $300/year on fuel costs. The time savings for us is the bigger factor.
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Old 11-26-2015, 12:12 PM   #42
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Reading through these reminded me why I left Minneapolis many years ago. For the entire last 30 years of w*rk my commute was 18 miles with one stop sign and took 25 minutes from backing out of my garage to sitting at my desk.
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Old 11-26-2015, 12:54 PM   #43
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As I have written in this forum many times over the years, the main reason I ERed back in 2008 was the commute. While it didn't involve my car for most of the 23 years I worked, it did involve the trains, the Long Island Rail Road and either the NYC Subway or the PATH trains, a small subway system connecting Manhattan with nearby areas of northern New Jersey.


In my early years of commuting on the LIRR and the NYC Subway in the late 1980s, it was a barely tolerable commute taking about 1.25 hours each way. For a short time, I had to drive to the LIRR station's parking lot and sometimes have to transfer LIRR trains before taking the subway. But after I moved around LI a few times, I was able to reduce the trip to a one-seat ride on the LIRR and eliminate the parking issue. Still, it was a tiring and often sickening ride as I was often rushing to catch my train in the morning and gradually losing my social life on weeknights because I got home so late and worn out.


I was faced with late trains, no A/C in the summer, no heat in the winter, labor issues such as the awful 2-week strike in January of 1987 (3 blizzards in those 2 weeks) which put us LIRR riders on the roads with everyone else, causing huge traffic jams. Thankfully, I had just moved a little closer to NYC so my car trip to the subway was not terribly long and mostly on some back roads.


The commute began to burn me out as the 1990s wore on, so when my company announced in 1999 that they were relocating from lower Manhattan to Jersey City, New Jersey, in 2001, I knew this would be the beginning of my ultimate undoing. Instead of a fairly smooth transfer from the LIRR to the subway, I would now have to exit Penn Station and go all the way to the street, walk a long, crosstown walk, then enter the PATH system before another long exit to the street at my new destination. My commute time would increase slightly, to nearly 1.5 hours each way.


Another thing which was worsening my commute was the rapid increase in the use of cell phones on the LIRR trains. What had been a mostly quiet and peaceful ride on the LIRR leg of my trip was now becoming a noisy, more annoying trip with the nearly endless barrage of loud phone conversations from my fellow riders. It would take only 1 loudmouth to ruin the ride of dozens of riders within earshot of these rude people. The train crewmen were useless so it became anarchy as we either had to suffer in silence or confront the rude riders if we could find them. Sometimes the confrontations worked, sometimes they did not. The rudeness and selfishness of these loudmouth cellphone yakkers never ceased to amaze me. (The LIRR has since introduced "quiet cars" but they came way after I ERed.)


I did switch to working part-time shortly after we relocated to New Jersey in 2001, starting with a mostly telecommuting gig. But that ended in 2003 and I had to return to the horrors of commuting, even only 3 days a week. I got that reduced to 2 days a week in 2007 but I needed to reduce that further - to ZERO. And in late 2008, I ERed and achieved that goal. I remember telling the HR flunkie in my exit interview that my top 3 reasons for leaving were #1 the commute, #2 the commute, and #3 the commute.


It was also becoming expensive to commute. In 2000, the last year I worked full-time, I paid about $2,000 in commutation costs. In 2008, my last year of working (2 days a week), I paid about $2,000 in commutation costs (only about 100 days, less than half the ~220 days I worked in 2000). I used the savings from the loss of commutation expenses to pay for some my health insurance premiums once I lost that benefit at work.
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Old 11-26-2015, 08:02 PM   #44
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Every night while I'm forced to take 1/4 of a mile worth of 540 to avoid the 40/540 mess, I curse FUEGO's name as that automatic toll rips 72 cents out of my account.
Bwahahahaha!!!

You're welcome that I cut 10 minutes off your commute. And apologies for the excessive toll.

Just be glad that they fired me when they did, otherwise I'd have figured out a way to charge you a few nickels to pull into your driveway.

If it makes you feel any better, my wife paid the same $0.72 toll each way for the same 1/4 mile stretch of 540 when she was still working full time and commuting to the office. Yeah it sucks but her 20 minute reduction in commute time is worth at least $1.44.

I just told her most guys build their wives a taj mahal at best. I built her a billion dollar freeway with high tech tolling systems.
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:58 PM   #45
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You better not come down here to SC with that toll nonsense, mister! We want new roads, damn it, and we want the rest of the state to shoulder the bill! And throw in a couple of more expensive bridges!
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Old 11-27-2015, 08:15 PM   #46
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You better not come down here to SC with that toll nonsense, mister! We want new roads, damn it, and we want the rest of the state to shoulder the bill! And throw in a couple of more expensive bridges!
No worries. I'm retired!

But seriously, you wouldn't pay a buck or two to get home 10-15 minutes quicker and save $0.10-0.20 in gas plus a little more in car maintenance?
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:31 PM   #47
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This is how you traffic engineers get us, isn't it?
Actually I'd be happy to subsidize the cost of mandatory zipper merge training classes. They'd pay off more than a toll road for my mostly rural commute.
I just figured you missed the part of your job where people complained, so I thought I'd oblige. That parking spot has to cost you "something"
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Old 11-28-2015, 07:10 AM   #48
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This is how you traffic engineers get us, isn't it?
Actually I'd be happy to subsidize the cost of mandatory zipper merge training classes. They'd pay off more than a toll road for my mostly rural commute.
I just figured you missed the part of your job where people complained, so I thought I'd oblige. That parking spot has to cost you "something"


Instead we get this.

"Oh gee, I am merging on a high speed road. I better slow down!"

"Oh gee, that's scary, I better stop and wait for a gap."

Meanwhile, behind this guy Sarah and Joe are going crazy as we're stuck in a slug of traffic that now can never merge properly and will just hose up traffic badly and send a shockwave of stop and go backward.

Nice, one person starts a traffic jam. This is not theory. It happens.

Apparently, some of FUEGO's associates are working on metering ramps on the previously mentioned 540 (non-toll section). This will help, IF PEOPLE LEARN TO USE THEIR GAS PEDAL.

OK, I'll stop shouting now.

You ER'd people not stuck in OMY? Count your blessings.
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:37 AM   #49
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Instead we get this.

"Oh gee, I am merging on a high speed road. I better slow down!"

"Oh gee, that's scary, I better stop and wait for a gap."

Meanwhile, behind this guy Sarah and Joe are going crazy as we're stuck in a slug of traffic that now can never merge properly and will just hose up traffic badly and send a shockwave of stop and go backward.

Nice, one person starts a traffic jam. This is not theory. It happens.

Apparently, some of FUEGO's associates are working on metering ramps on the previously mentioned 540 (non-toll section). This will help, IF PEOPLE LEARN TO USE THEIR GAS PEDAL.

OK, I'll stop shouting now.

You ER'd people not stuck in OMY? Count your blessings.
Nominee for the worst invention ever - the stop and go lights on merge ramps to an interstate. I understand the theory which is to push the backup a little further up the merge ramp as opposed to at the merge point, but they never work. And even when they do, nobody pays attention to them. Plus they assume the traffic is actually moving on the highway so there can be a smooth merge. Like that happens.
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Old 11-28-2015, 09:31 AM   #50
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Sort of ironic that Chicago took first considering the great options for public transit here:
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Interstate 90 around Chicago O'Hare International Airport is considered the worst traffic bottleneck in the country, resulting in 16.9 million hours of wasted time. That's an estimated $418 million of lost productivity a year, according to a new report from the American Highway Users Alliance
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Old 11-28-2015, 09:52 AM   #51
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Sort of ironic that Chicago took first considering the great options for public transit here:
Whenever we use O'Hare we always take the bus there. The saving on the cost of parking pays for the bus fare from Milwaukee and then some.
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Old 11-28-2015, 09:52 AM   #52
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Instead we get this.

"Oh gee, I am merging on a high speed road. I better slow down!"

"Oh gee, that's scary, I better stop and wait for a gap."

Meanwhile, behind this guy Sarah and Joe are going crazy as we're stuck in a slug of traffic that now can never merge properly and will just hose up traffic badly and send a shockwave of stop and go backward.

Nice, one person starts a traffic jam. This is not theory. It happens.

Apparently, some of FUEGO's associates are working on metering ramps on the previously mentioned 540 (non-toll section). This will help, IF PEOPLE LEARN TO USE THEIR GAS PEDAL.

OK, I'll stop shouting now.

You ER'd people not stuck in OMY? Count your blessings.

There was metering in Houston.... did not work since half the cars ignored the red light and the people that would normally slow down now stop completely and then slowly go on....
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Old 11-28-2015, 09:58 AM   #53
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Reading through these reminded me why I left Minneapolis many years ago. For the entire last 30 years of w*rk my commute was 18 miles with one stop sign and took 25 minutes from backing out of my garage to sitting at my desk.
As a career commuter I often felt fortunate that I was driving into Milwaukee. The sprawl is fairly limited for a city of its population. Whenever I go through the Twin Cities the size of (and time it takes to traverse) the metro area sticks with me.
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Old 11-28-2015, 10:16 AM   #54
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As a career commuter I often felt fortunate that I was driving into Milwaukee. The sprawl is fairly limited for a city of its population. Whenever I go through the Twin Cities the size of (and time it takes to traverse) the metro area sticks with me.
I guess it's all relative. I live in a smaller area 100 miles north of Milwaukee and I think the traffic there is bad enough. I avoid Milwaukee whenever possible during rush hours. I would never work in a city the size of Milwaukee or larger unless I could afford to live within walking distance of work.
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Old 11-28-2015, 10:34 AM   #55
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I guess it's all relative. I live in a smaller area 100 miles north of Milwaukee and I think the traffic there is bad enough. I avoid Milwaukee whenever possible during rush hours. I would never work in a city the size of Milwaukee or larger unless I could afford to live within walking distance of work.
Milwaukee is a walk in the park compared to Chicago. Or the Twin Cities, for that matter.

When I was commuting my workplace was 43 miles from home. I worked in the heart of downtown, and I live at the very edge of exurbia (my neighbors are farmers). If I didn't run an errand on the way to work it would take me about 50 minutes from door to door. That said, I nearly always worked the "lobster shift" (starting in the afternoon and working int the evening) so I avoided rush hours.
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Old 11-28-2015, 10:44 AM   #56
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Milwaukee is a walk in the park compared to Chicago. Or the Twin Cities, for that matter.
I've never been to the Twin Cities but agree Chicago is much worse than Milwaukee. I will never again drive into Chicago and will only drive near Chicago in passing if it's between 11pm-3am.
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Old 11-28-2015, 10:53 AM   #57
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Instead we get this.

"Oh gee, I am merging on a high speed road. I better slow down!"

"Oh gee, that's scary, I better stop and wait for a gap."

Meanwhile, behind this guy Sarah and Joe are going crazy as we're stuck in a slug of traffic that now can never merge properly and will just hose up traffic badly and send a shockwave of stop and go backward.

Nice, one person starts a traffic jam. This is not theory. It happens.
Are you in San Antonio by any chance?!? This was always an issue at the clover leaf intersections (I-10 and 1604 for example). People EXITING the interstate have a "Yield" sign for the people coming around a circle at 8 MPH. The rule there must be something like "If you see ANYTHING within 1/4 of a mile coming around the ramp, you must STOP." Do these idiots not understand that the people entering and the people exiting just simply want to SWITCH places?!? Thank GOD people here in ATL don't do that. The traffic is bad enough, I can't imagine what it would be like if the San Antonio driving style made it's way over here!!!

We have metered ramps here too and as far as I can tell, they do a good job. I can't really figure out the usage though...sometimes when you think they would be used, they aren't and vice versa.

Oh...so glad I don't have to play in that madness anymore.
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Old 11-28-2015, 10:56 AM   #58
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Oh...so glad I don't have to play in that madness anymore.
Even if you live here you don't have to play in that madness once you are retired.
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Old 11-28-2015, 11:38 AM   #59
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Maybe I should un-retire...
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Old 11-28-2015, 01:28 PM   #60
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Kind of laughing at the notion that Raleigh was a sleepy little town until the mid 90s. I moved there in the mid 80s, when there was no I-540, I-40 was 2 lanes, no Alexander extension, no Davis Dr into Cary. Commutes could be horrible if anything went wrong, and even a good day was slow. I'm sure it had been bad before then. Roads and lanes get added and alleviate things for awhile, then development catches up and it's just as bad as before.

RTP was a great idea and it looks pleasant with all the buildings tucked amongst the trees, but it locked out pretty much any chance for effective mass transit because there's no real concentration of workers anywhere.

I felt kind of bad for the long-time residents who really do remember Raleigh as a sleepy town before RTP came about in the 60s. Lots of good came from the growth in the form of health care and a good economy, but it changed a lot, not all good.

In the early years I just had to deal with it, but later on I had enough flexibility to shift my schedule early or late to avoid the worst of it, and finally I set my self up for full-time telecommuting.
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