Something strange happened today. Normally I will never alter my route to the office because the route is the route. If I hear on the radio that there is an accident on the interstates I take I will not deviate my route. I feel that if one takes a different road they are simply, as I heard a traffic reporter say. falling into the trap of "the illusion of movement".
I never will fall for the illusion of movement as taking a different route will usually take longer than just going through the jam.
One thing I must admit though is that even though I may justify setting in traffic to avoid the illusion I really like the sameness of roads traveled. Changing the roads is something I try to avoid and it is something that I don't even allow myself to think about. What that means is I don't even allow myself the thought of trying a new way because the way is the way... that was up until two hours ago.
This morning a freezing rain mix made the roads of Saint Louis as treacherous as they could possible be. As the sun was just coming up a 20+ accident occurred on I-64. The roads were so bad the firetrucks and ambulances headed to the crash piled into the pile up!
All across the city fender benders and severe crashes happened and traffic was brought to a halt. The traffic web site looked more like a Christmas tree than a map with all the colors of various jams and accidents. While there wasn't an accident in the direction I travel the road to get to the interstate had come to a halt due to the 20+ car pileup.
My first thought was to wait it out. I have a presentation at 1PM in TouchPoint's parent training program. The thought of using an alternate route was being fended off as I just saw the roads I normally take. It felt weird to be perfectly honest as the moment I looked at the map and realized I could take another route. It was like the thought had never occurred in my mind.
It is so true that I never have allowed the notion of using a different road, but quickly I made up my mind, got my computer bag, and headed out the door. Just because I was using a different road didn't mean I would avoid the carrots. Thankfully today nothing odd happened at the grocery store and from there I ventured into uncharted waters, or perhaps more fittingly, the roads less traveled.
I was so proud of myself as I turned onto roads that I have traveled before, but not when I am headed to the office. This profound proudness quickly turned into a waiting game as it seemed everyone else in Saint Louis decided to take the roads less traveled.
There were options in roads I could have turned on to make my trip a lot shorter, but as soon as I left the house I was committed. This angered me in a way, but I convinced myself that if I took this side road it would simply be an illusion of movement and the traffic around the corner would be worse than what I was in. Of course, as I saw later on, this road was as deserted as a ghost town, but I was as resistant to changing this new route as I normally am on my normal route.
Tomorrow I hope the roads will be back to normal. As much as I "enjoyed" taking a new route I like the same routine. In a week or month this adventure in detourland will once again seem impossible, but I am okay with that. I like the same ways each day and as I said before it is much like not even being able to think that there is another way to go. So, until next time there is a storm the roads weren't prepared for, I will enjoy my normal route and will not fall prey to the illusion of movement regardless of how bad the jams may be.