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Old 05-22-2009, 03:05 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default Early summertime blues

We live on a river about a third of a mile below the U.S. 1, I-95, and railroad bridges. The river is wonderful, and we put up with traffic noise as the price.

This weekend — Monday being Memorial Day — is the unofficial start of summer. Cars started streaming north, probably to eastern Connecticut, Newport, the Cape, or Vermont, since Wednesday night. (NYC schools closed for the flu, lots of people out of work, relatively cheap gas may contribute to this — usually today would be the early-getaway day.) Viewed from here, traffic has been thick, but moving relatively well. Most of the time.

Yesterday just before 6 a.m., we were awakened by a wall of sirens punctuated by the bass honking of emergency vehicles. I finally got up and saw what looked like a solid wall of large trucks, stopped dead, on the northbound side of both the Post Road (Route 1) and I-95.

I thought there must have been a major accident (we do get them around here), but no. Traffic had slowed for highway maintenance work, and an inattentive driver plowed on, ramming both a stopped car and a semi (carrying 73,000 pounds of vegetables, it said in the paper today). No serious injuries, and the veg were unscathed, but the sirens rang for 45 minutes and it was about three hours before normal traffic resumed.

Today, we wanted to go north to Trader Joe’s, but from mid-morning until now, northbound I-95 and the Post Road have been either stopped or creeping at about 3 miles per hour. We waited all day to see if it would ease, but finally went out to a local fish store, a three-mile trip south of here. Going was fine. Coming back we took as many local roads as possible but in the end had to queue up for the bridge. The normal 5-minute trip took 45 minutes.

I can only imagine how long it will take those New Yorkers to get to Cape Cod! On the TV just now I heard that there is a 30-mile clog on I-95, centered in Milford. They didn’t give a cause — I suppose it could be volume. Or another accident.

Sure hope this is not the model for the whole summer!

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