Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life!: Managing gridlock

Washington-area commuters spend more than 60 hours a year in gridlock and waste nearly 91 million gallons of fuel. The latest national study ranks Washington No. 2, behind Los Angeles, in commuting misery. I never wanted to use metro in the past because by the time I got a bus to the metro stop, got onto metro and arrived at work, it was a much longer commute than driving. Now going by metro is much quicker, although more crowded. Not everyone can get onto the metro. People are living farther and farther away to get reasonable housing. Coming back from a trip, I saw the heavy line of traffic inching along Route 66 near Front Royal, Va., with commuters coming home from Washington. And it was only 2 p.m.! So the work hours for many are also shifting to accommodate the traffic. The cost of that commute is more than gas. It’s adding to stress and lost time with families, and although I haven’t seen a study, I wouldn’t be surprised if the commute was contributing to lost productivity. Some people have told me that they use their commuting time to listen to audio books on management. Others listen to books for pleasure. One enterprising IT worker installed satellite radio in the car to get more jazz music. I have seen people looking at laptop computers while traffic is standing still. How long is your commute? How do you manage it?

Posted by Judith Welles on Sep 19, 2007 at 12:13 PM


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