Negotiating Traffic in the Urban Jungle
I hate traffic. (Who doesn’t right?) And, my sense of direction is lousy. Growing up in the 60’s in a family of seven we owned the now extinct “station wagon”. If you’re old enough you will remember the three sets of seats. The front seat of course for Mom, Dad, and the baby. The middle seat for older sister and brother, and the rear facing back seat for my brother and I. It’s difficult to develop a good sense of direction when you spend the majority of your time looking at where you’ve been instead of where you are going.
Recently, we had the opportunity to travel south to Irvine for a media event I was covering for my Whoa Podcast. It is a circus of sorts called Odysseo by Cavalia. A show that might be described as Cirque de Soleil with horses.
The event was scheduled to start at 10:45 and, according to the Waze navigation app on my phone, traveling time was 2 1/2 hours. My wife, Ranae was joining me. After a little discussion, we added another 40 minutes for traffic just to be safe.
With the Waze app on we took off. The app will notify us of police on the road or traffic hazards and will give us turn-by-turn directions. So, we essentially sat back, pushed play on a Chris Hardwick Podcast, and enjoyed the early morning drive.
Coming off the Grapevine on the Los Angeles side the phone woke up and Waze announced there was a “major accident” on our route and gave us an alternative way to go. We weren’t familiar with the venue location of Odysseo, but we allowed Waze to change our course and steer away from the accident. About a half hour later we had no clue where we were. Waze still had us arriving on time (Oh yes, it gives you your expected arrival time), so we just blindly followed along with her instructions.
As we drove along I thought about Ranae’s uncle, Tom. I wondered what he would have thought of all this. Tom would come visit us and the first 30 minutes following his arrival was a recap of the route he took. “Well, had to take the 710 to the 170 because we left a little later than we wanted and we were smack dab in the middle of rush hour,” Tom would say. “We shot over to the 134, hit the 210, and got on the 5.” Tom new all the freeways like the back of his hand.
“On the way home, we’ll need to stay on 5 to the 2, take the 10 to the 605, then back to the 5 to get around the Dodger game at Chavez Ravine.” He knew where the major factories, ball parks, amusement parks, and bottlenecks were all located.
At exactly 10:47 we pulled up to the entrance of Odyesseo. You can’t miss their big top. Our little phone app had gotten us there pretty much as she promised. Not nearly as much fun as Tom. Tom was a genius about traffic. Come to think about it, I wonder if they fashioned the Waze app after him.