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Looking For the Perfect Path

on 19 June, 2014

So, if you read my blog, you will know that I am in the second week of a new job. I feel like I am starting to get the hang of things… all the new stuff that comes with a new job and a new company. Like a new language (is it just me or is does it seem like there is an overuse of TLAs*?) and new people and new processes. But the one that I find the most perplexing is the commute route.

KC Commute

It seems both a navigational and time management issue. From my home to the office (in downtown Kansas City) I really have two main paths to take: for ease of understanding, I will call them the East and West routes. Both routes are pretty much equal as to the distance, and therein lies the end of the similarities.

The West route is, in most respects, the most straightforward in terms of navigation and currently does not have any construction delays. It does, however, have the most change in speed limits, one section goes from 60 to 45 for no apparent reason and the local revenue generators (aka police) tend to hang out in this area. It also has one tricky elbow which suggests a 15 mile per hour limit, which many drivers take too literal. This leads to a traffic backup and the later in the morning you go, the longer the backup. Once through this hazard, however, most traffic veers off to the left for further interstate driving, but I continue south into downtown.

East Route

East Route in downtown Kansas City

Now, the majority of the East route is interstate and capable of much higher sustained speed. I say ‘capable’ because there has rarely been a day that I’ve gone this route to find cars traveling anywhere near the speed limit. I don’t know if it is the addition of 18-wheelers or the confusing last little tangle of several major interstates, highways and exits as you hit ‘downtown’ or just the abundance of commuters, but I have yet to take this path and not come to at least one full stop. This morning’s commute was, to date, the best I have encountered.

Considering all of that, though, I didn’t allow myself enough time and was about 8 minutes late walking into the office. I hit the parking ramp straight up 8:00 and by the time I walked to the building and up the elevators, well… I guess I should figure that as part of my commute time.

Timing is a funny thing though and found this to be true whether I was making the commute in Phoenix or Los Angeles or San Jose or here in Kansas City. Changing up the time to leave by as little as ten minutes, can add or subtract as much as 30 minutes to a commute. So, its just a matter of trial and error until I find the best route to take. Which is all subjective since the addition of construction, a police car, an accident or weather can throw the whole plan into disarray. Don’t even get me started on winter driving here!

Okay, I guess I should get to getting!



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