From the November issue of Sitting in Traffic:
Sitting in Traffic: So, Kennett, what was it like sitting in traffic on your commute home this evening?
Kennett Peterson: Well, it was pretty sweet. At one point I think we went about 200 feet in five, six minutes. That was the highlight I guess. I think that’s when we got up to the slowest speed.
ST: How long was your commute?
KP: Oh, about 30 miles by bike. Maybe 25 by car, although today we took some back roads because the freeway was so backed up, so maybe we did 30 today driving.
ST: So you ride one direction on your bike in the morning, and get a ride home with one of your parents at night, correct?
KP: Yeah, I do that to capitalize on the best traffic sitting conditions. Generally traffic is the slowest and most congested in the evening rush hour. Especially on a day like today when it gets dark before 5 and it’s pouring rain.
ST: Do you check the traffic reports before you drive home?
KP: Oh of course. If traffic is fast and there aren’t any accidents, I wait to go home later when something good has happened. There’s no sense in rushing home quickly and efficiently.
ST: Do you ever purposefully cause traffic incidents that will likely slow up traffic?
KP: In order to be comfortable in your environment, you must either adapt to it or make it adapt to you. Humans have been using the second option for the last ten thousand years, and I’m not about to go changing that. When traffic is fast, I employ one of many tactics to clog it up. Usually, I’ll attempt to cause a fender bender behind me somewhere by jamming on the brakes while on the freeway. If I hear a loud crash behind me, I know I did my job well, and I’ll exit the freeway, take the freeway the opposite direction a few miles, then get back on the freeway going the original direction and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Yes, I do enjoy a good old fashioned traffic sit, but I’m really doing it for the benefit of society. Nothing puts a smile on someone’s face quicker than sitting behind a freeway pile up for a few hours.
ST: Back to today’s traffic sit, how long did it take for you to get home?
KP: I’d say a little under two hours.
ST: Wow, that’s longer than it takes you to ride to work in the morning, correct?
KP: Yeah, it was a good one this evening. They’re usually not this slow, but when they are, that’s when you have to enjoy it and soak in the moment.
ST: Any words of advice for our less experienced readers?
KP: I try to get right behind a large semi that takes longer than all the other vehicles around it to get up to speed. Usually that’s the lane farthest to the right, which I never leave anyways. But I really do make an effort to find the slowest semi truck and tuck right in behind it while all the other cars to the left lanes pass me. I also enjoy texting on my cell in between creeping forward when I’m in stop and go traffic. That way you get a good chorus of cars honking at you while you let a large gap open up in front of you, at which point I’ll look up from my phone, accelerate way to fast and slam on the brakes before I hit the semi in front of me, and then start texting again. I really enjoy that.
ST: Thanks for your time today, Kennett.
KP: My pleasure.