Tag Archives: san francisco bay area

Crazy Commutes — How Long Is Too Long?

The past few weeks haven’t been the greatest in terms of traffic.  If I were to travel to my work on a day without the usual work day traffic, it would take me slightly more than an hour.  That wouldn’t be so bad, but of course, that’s not my usual work trip.  On “good” traffic days, I average about an hour and a half each way.  Add a little fender bender, construction, or some guy on the side of the road with a flat tire and you can easily tack on an extra half hour.  Any serious accident, and you’re talking maybe 3 hours to get from point A to point B.  During these times, I sit in my car and stew as I inch my way towards my destination.  There are few things more frustrating than sitting in traffic and not moving…especially on a hot day.

So why do I–and many other Americans–do this?  Why do we put ourselves through these terrible commutes?  My observations:

– Home prices in the San Francisco Bay Area are ridiculous!  I would love to live in a place like Alameda, California…if I could afford it.

– Alas, living in the Bay Area would mean renting a smaller home or apartment.  Doesn’t sound too bad until you throw in the kids and spouse into the mix.  It’s hard enough to keep our sanity living in our current home.

– Stability.  I’d hate to uproot my kids from their school, friends, etc.

– Greed?  Sometimes I wonder if I’m greedy for wanting to keep a certain standard of living.  In this case, living in a 2000 square foot house vs a 1000 square foot (and possibly more expensive) apartment.

But seriously, is an extra thousand feet of living space worth putting yourself through a hellish daily drive?  If you think about it, you are killing a good 2 hours daily.  That is time you will never get back.  I tried listening to language lessons during my commute.  It works…but it can get old.  The bottom line is: the commute is long and I will never get used to it.  That being said, I will probably keep doing it  (if it’s up to me) until I win te lottery.

Check out my daily morning drive here:

The Commute