Anyone who says “I’m jealous I can’t be in DC during the inauguration” is, as my Dad would say, delusional.
The inauguration is one week away and probably 1 % of the expected 4 million visitors have arrived, but I’m already annoyed. I’m used to over-crowding, take any Saturday in Austin during football season, but the mess in downtown DC resembles that of NYC.
It took me an additional 10 to 15 minutes to get to work last week. Why? ‘Tis the inaugural season.
The major streets passing through downtown have been closed for days. Why? Because the two most powerful people in America, and possibly the world, are sleeping down the street from my office -or- because some genius setting up grandstands for the parade decided the best time to work is between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Either way, downtown streets crucial for my commute to work aren’t open to thru traffic. This has inspired some drivers to pull some pretty gutsy moves.
My favorite is when said bus drivers hook a left on a yellow-turning-red light, impeding the flow of cross traffic, and block the intersection for the light’s entire cycle. Even more entertaining are the numerous annoyed drivers that lay on the horn, also for the light’s entire cycle. If drivers only knew that horn honking is about as effective as OU’s offense during a BCS bowl game.
However, drivers desperate to make it through a light only to be caught by another one a few feet ahead, have become reckless.
For example, my bus driver this morning had grown tired of catching every red light from Wisconsin Ave to 21st Street and decided to run one. All of a sudden I heard this loud bang, which resembled cars colliding, and I see this frightened cyclist pass by on the right. He seemed OK as he pushed his bike towards the font of the bus where the driver was sitting. Turns out he was fine and exchanged a few words with the driver before pedaling away.
But, as expected, the drivers stuck behind the bus were quick to punch their horns during the brief exchange with the fortunate biker.
After an hour on the jam-packed bus this morning, what could have been a biker death and nine blocks still to go, I deboarded the bus and walked to the office.
On an ordinary day I would have dealt with the morning madness and political gridlock but I just wasn’t in the mood today. My metro card only has $.50 on it, not enough to cover the $1.25 fare, and I forgot at least four times last week to re-load it. So, I spent 15 minutes this morning rummaging for change to pay the fare. I tore open every purse in my closet, searched through coin pouches for anything silver, looked under the beds, couches and tables, but no change. I did find an English coin, but it’s not so helpful here in America.
Btw DeVito, your purses don’t have any coins either. But you do have lots of gum. And I would have paid you back for anything I took.
I’m not sure how many days I can come 20 minutes late to work this week, before someone says something, but it might be time to find an alternate route to the office. Traffic is expected to get progressively worse, as more streets are shut down, and so is the morning temperature.
I could switch things up a lot and take the Circulator to Foggy Bottom Metro and take the Blue/Orange Line to the office. Total fare to work =$2.60’ish. But another frustrated co-worker said a sick kid on the Orange Line this morning caused a 20-minute delay.
Or I could take the D1 or D2 to Dupont Circle and take the Red Line the rest of the way. Total fare to work=$2.85.
Or I could take the D1 or D2 as far as I can, deboard before the gridlock, and walk the rest of the way. Total fare to work=$1.25 plus cold extremities.
Or I could suck it up, save some money, and walk the entire way to work.