In Traffic Hell! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

In Traffic Hell!

In Traffic Hell!

I left my Mom’s in Holbrook, Long Island, NY at 9:39 am this morning, hursday, 12/27/13. Google Maps showed 5 hours 1 minute in current traffic to the Amtrak Station in Lorton, VA where I will board the Auto Train tomorrow. I hope. The close-in LIE was a bit crowded and traffic slowed at the LIE/BQE merge. Then not too bad after than over the Verazzano and the Goethal’s Bridges onto the New Jersey Turnpike South. I stopped for lunch at a rest area in building traffic. In the past hour I have gone exactly 2.3 miles. It is now 1:30 and I am online in the car and typing this blog post. Really!

I will get off at exit 8 and try to head south on local highways to hook up with 295 and then rejoin 95 south at some point.

Man, you gotta love it. Oh, I forgot to mention: I finally caught Denise Ippolito’s cold. My nose has been dripping like a sieve since yesterday.

Sympathetic comments welcome.

4:00pm Update

The worst of it was over at 2:39pm: 5 hours, only 112 miles. A whopping 22.4 mph. But I was actually having a good day. The accident: two tractor trailers, two passenger cars: 3 fatalities. Stopped at the Delaware Welcome Center at 4 o’clock with 189 miles under my belt. Probably about 125 miles to go to Lorton…. More later.

6:40pm Update: Safe in front of the Comfort Inn in Lorton, VA. Had some nasty traffic on the Baltimore–Washington Parkway. Total time: Exactly 9 hours, 1 minute. All in all 4 hours of traffic delays most due to the tragedy on the New Jersey Turnpike. Total miles: 512.

28 comments to In Traffic Hell!

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Pat and Gaurav, Denise is feeling much better (finally) and I am getting there. So thanks from both of us. Hey, it is a reunion of sorts: Pat and Alan and Gaurav who were all on the Morro Bay IPT will all be on the SW FLA IPT that is nearly sold out now.

  • Pat Lillich

    no birds to speak of at Pfeiffer – but there is an arch in an offshore rock there – and in December(ish) the sun is at the right position to shine thru it as it sets. beautiful ray of light on the waves crashing thru the opening, and sometimes a sunset thru the arch.

    hope today’s trip goes well for you.

  • Pat Lillich

    hey Artie – hope you and Denise are both better quick! Alan and I can empathize a little – we headed down by Big Sur yesterday and spent 1 3/4 hours going 1 mile along Hwy 1 where they are still repairing old slides. Had a great time photographing at Pfeiffer beach, but the drive home turned out longer than the time we spent there. Hope the rest of your trip goes well.


  • Gaurav Mittal

    I hope you and Denise feel better soon. Love and wishes 🙂

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks. It seems that I am getting better a lot faster than Denise. Hope that I do not give myself a kina hurrah. (See the Yiddish dictionary here.)

  • Chris Cooke

    My sympathies Artie on both your cold (which I still have, old baby’s nappy stuffed up into my full face helmet to absorb my runny nose and your traffic which we don’t generally have down here)

    I hope you have a great trip.


  • Sorry for your day in the traffic nightmare. Sorry for those unfortunate folks in the accident too. Seems NJ highways (& LI too) have never really been large enough for the masses of cars and trucks even on a daily basis….let alone Holiday week. Enjoy the train….Maybe campaign to Amtrak about extending the auto train to Metropark in NJ…think there would be a lot more people who use it. Safe travels to you and may 2013 be full of “awe” moments and lots of laughter.

  • Nancy Bell

    Sympathy sent your way! Your experience is a good reminder why I live in Colorado, 40 miles from the nearest town. Relax, rejoice, and take a nice swim when you get home!

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Good plan. And good on the 40 miles from town. I live 22 miles from the nearest supermarket. But everyone has to get on the interstate once in a while….

  • Estelle Chartrand

    I left my house in Cape Coral Florida, at the beginning of December to comeback to Montreal, Canada. Not sure it was the good decision ?
    Today,we are stuck not in the traffic but in the house, due to a major snow storm that paralized the city, the main highway and the airport. Some of the area has to be patrolled by skidoo.
    Art, at least you are heading in the right direction….South!
    Have a safe trip back home, keep writing to us, you are such an inspiration.
    Maybe in the spring we will meet at a burrowing owls nest.
    Happy New Year to you and Denise.

  • Deirdre Sheerr-Gross

    Oh Artie… Bummer…
    Glad you hung in there…

    I remember growing up..
    We used to call the Long Island Expressway the LI Distressway!!

    Best to you on the Auto Train tomorrow…

  • Art.. you have my sympathies. Some time when you get a chance, I’d like to hear more about the auto train. We live near Richmond and plan to go to FL in April/May.
    Safe travels..

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      The Auto Train Rocks. You save a ton of mileage, gas, wear and tear on your vehicle, and time. And when you arrive, you do not need to rent a car! And no air fare(s). This is about my sixth round trip.

  • Charles Scheffold

    NJ Turnpike traffic sucks! Have a safe trip – I’m sympathetic about the cold, but also finally happy to be rid of the one I had for the past 2 months!!!

  • David Policansky

    Artie, you have my sympathy. As Loren said, either a cold or NY-NJ traffic is bad enough, but both… In my experience, though–sadly–you seldom do better by getting off the NJ Turnpike. I’m sure you know to listen to WCBS (880 AM, traffic on the 8s), or WINS (1010 AM, traffic on the 1s) in and near NYC. Around Washington DC, it’s 103.5 FM (WTOP, traffic on the 8s). Bob Marbourg on WTOP is the best traffic reporter in the country, IMHO.

    Good luck.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I did much better by getting off :). Took Exit 8, 33 west all the way to 295 south. Not too bad after that. ps: 1010 WINS and the NJ Turnpike traffic signs could have done a lot better warning folks as to the severity of the problem….

      • David Policansky

        Yes, when there’s that bad a mess it is better to get off. Sorry WINS didn’t do right by you. Once I got stuck on the X-Bronx Distressway for 2 hours because WCBS didn’t do its job, even though I called in. I trust you’re happily ensconced on the train now. Happy new year.

  • harvey Tabin

    the best laid plans—–”
    It happens to us all.

  • Loren Charif

    Sympathies, indeed. NY/NJ/95 traffic is bad enough alone; a winter cold is bad enough alone; together, misery! Kinda makes one appreciate all the non-cold light traffic days a lot more! We hit snowstorm traffic in PA on the way down this year, and then a wonderful young man in a finely pressed uniform in a dark window tinted car with pretty flashing lights wanted to chat with me and give me an early Hannukah present of some paper forms on 295 in VA. All in all, a lovely ride down!

    As long as you’re safe & sound…gotta love it!

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Misery is a choice that I choose not to make :). All in all, not too bad. And, I narrowly avoided a ticket myself when they snagged the guy in front of me for cutting to the right into a lane that was not a lane–just before I was gonna do it….

  • Jim Kranick

    That’s ugly. Like being trapped on I-95 when someone messes up down the road. Or driving down to West Palm or Miami and wondering if you should stay with 95 or change to the Fla. Tpke and pay the tolls. But at least most of the traffic down here is better than the LI/NYC area (other than I-4).

    You have my sympathy but at least you have until tomorrow to get the Auto Train.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I’d gladly pay lots of tolls to escape that mess. But actually, I avoided all the NJTPk tolls by getting on 295 🙂