Sunday, November 18, 2007

Traffic Jam (James Taylor)

"Well I left my job about five o'clock
It took 15 minutes to go three blocks
Just in time to stand in line
With the freeway lookin like a parking lot" - JT

They say that Washington DC has the 3rd worst traffic in the US, behind LA and SF. A recent trip to LA convinced me that this is one of those cases where the gap between first and second place is something like the gap in ideology between George Bush and Dennis Kucinich. The chart to the left sort of supports that. This takes the "winner takes all" concept to a new level. Great thing to win, eh? We humans can be bloody idiots.

Here's how it played out during this ~36 hr trip to LA:
Sleeping: 11 hours in two nights
PSA'ing: 8 hours in one night (I'll explain)
Driving: 5.5 hrs in four sessions, 98% on the freeways

That's 330 minutes of driving.
To go about 110 miles.
This equates to an average speed of 20 MPH.
And I summon my college math and stats classes to point out that the average, in this case, is not the truly relevant measure - as it was either 5-10 MPH or 65 MPH. Some distribution curve that would be.

Was it worth it? YES.

1. Because I got to spend a little bit of time with my goddaughters. AND I had the chance to see my friend Kate Bean's five year dream-turned-into-reality in action at the Aveson Charter School. What a site.


2. Because I had the unique experience of watching the filming of a TV commercial. So Hollywood. :) Our (GlobalGiving's) pro-bono ad agency Leo Burnett has made a minor miracle happen, and we are creating a super high production-value 30 second PSA....which is being directed by an award winning director named Jim Gartner. So there I was with my colleague Joan, and our Burnett team, as the filming took place between 6pm and 2am Friday night. It's gonna be very cool.

But Lord that traffic sucked.

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