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The Adventures That Could Have Been

Have you ever pondered the wonderful ways you could be spending your time were you not trapped in traffic for so much of your life? Ever muttered abuse at fellow commuters as they inched forward, blocking you from the joy of the open road? Of course you have.

This week's Commuter Graphic helps you to quantify just how much fun you could have had touring the American countryside during the time you spent instead in the daily crawl. And, as you must already know, Washington area drivers are among the worst victims of untapped potential.

By Mike McPhate  |  October 13, 2008; 4:46 PM ET
Categories:  Commuting , Congestion  
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Next: Metro Alert: Red Line Delays at Van Ness-UDC


Exxon in Catlett, VA on Rt 28 has regular for $2.98 a gallon.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I'd spend several fewer hours sitting in traffic if they'd let the hybrid HOV exemption expire. Fortunately, I'm moving out of this hellhole in December.

Posted by: Nothing works here. | October 14, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the giggle.

We moved from DC (partially because of the traffic) a few years ago to an exurb of the Twin Cities.

This summer, we drove from our home to my husband's family in central NY, then down to my family in DC and back.

When our parents were completely incredulous that we would do such a thing, we gave them the math:

For both sets of parents, daily commutes to work consisted of 45 minutes to 60 minutes each day with traffic.

Considering our trip was a little over two weeks long, the pair of us spent just about an equal amount of travel time in our cars. Except we drove 1/3 of the way across the country and back. ;)

Posted by: Chasmosaur | October 14, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

or, you know, we could demand an increase in public transportation infrastructure development and support and get off the road. Or demand that jurisdictions invest in livable communities, rather than the out-of-date suburban and exurban "dream" that has put us in this mess in the first place, allowing us to live closer to work and school and services.

Posted by: Birdie | October 14, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Birdie, you have excellent ideas. However, I'm not sticking around until 2025 or 2030 or later to see it implemented, if it ever happens at all.

Metro is a poorly funded joke of a public transportation system. 30 or 35 minutes to wait for a train? Has anyone on Metro's board or in Metro management ever been on mass transit anywhere else in the WORLD? Metro is third-class, at best.

Posted by: Agree with your ideas, but... | October 14, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

burn it all to the ground and leave this festering pit of filth better off than it is now

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm offended. Lake Superior is north of the Upper Peninsula, much farther from Cincinnati.

Posted by: Lake Michigan | October 14, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Forget it, Lake. It's Washington.

Posted by: Walsh | October 15, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Yer lucky we didn't say it was Salt Lake.

Posted by: WaPo | October 15, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

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