OPEN LETTER: Those Who Commute From New Jersey To New York Are True Unsung Heroes
I’ll admit to being spoiled when it comes to commuting which I’m sure is something many of you cannot say. In the near 42 years I have worked at WOBM I have never had to spend more than 15 minutes from my door to the radio station and that includes a stop for coffee and the newspaper. I don’t think about how much of a luxury that is very often but I did so on Monday when had to travel to New York City for an appointment.
I should start by saying the amount of commuter traffic is still way down from pre-pandemic times but jumping on the Garden State Parkway shortly before 6:30 am was still a bit of an eye-opener. Do these people really have to do this every day? One thing is for sure and that is should you decide to drive the speed limit you better stay in the right lane and even then you will probably get some dirty looks. At times you feel like you’re on the Daytona Speedway and not the GSP. I moved with the flow of traffic and as the sun was rising I was already on the New Jersey Turnpike. Actually, well ahead of schedule I stopped at the Grover Cleveland Service Area to grab a (don’t laugh) skinny Vanilla Latte at the Starbucks there. When I got back in my car and checked my Waze navigation I saw it was going to take me through the Lincoln Tunnel even though the day before the route had been going over the George Washington Bridge to get to my destination on East 70th street. It also said I would arrive an hour before my appointment.
Of course for those of you who do commute, you know that it only takes one accident or issue to change things and that can happen very quickly. I jumped back on the Turnpike and was moving pretty well, occasionally hitting a very brief slow down because of higher volume. I crept along a little bit as I approached the tunnel and when I exited saw a roadblock that would not allow me to turn where I was supposed to. My GPS navigation quickly re-routed me and there I was driving through the city during rush hour and even cutting through a portion of Central Park. I did curse a bit at the driving habits of others but sure enough, arrived at my destination well ahead of schedule.
On the way home my navigation took me to the FDR Drive and GW Bridge which was not bad because the traffic was light. I took a deep breath when I pulled into my driveway and thought about those who have to spend 3-4 hours commuting each day in their car or by bus or train. I was drained after one day and didn’t even have to work in between my drive. I guess I really am spoiled.