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The Commuter Column: I’ll be Home for the Holidays

Kathleen Joyce

By next Thursday, many of Post’s dormers will be traveling home. Some aren’t driving, but going overseas to Europe and Asia. Unfortunately, there isn’t a sleigh or flying car to take you overseas, but here are  a few tips on how to get through road traffic and what to avoid when driving.

For those of us on Long Island who dorm, the best way to get home in the Nassau area is to take those dreaded sidestreets. I really don’t advise any highway driving during the holidays, and since you’re not traveling for hours, suck it up and take the sidestreets. Northern Boulevard is a decent road to travel.  Route 106/107 is a bit dangerous, but it’s fast and easy to maneuver. Hempstead Turnpike is, in my opinion, one of the worst roads on Long Island next to Old Country Road, but there’s not too much traffic on it during the day; it’s only during rush hours that you should  not use it. So avoid driving until after 10 a.m. (which I’m sure won’t be a problem) and from 4:00-7:00 pm.

As far as highways are concerned, the best thing to do if you don’t have a car at school, is to have the ‘rents pick you up and take the L.I.E. home and travel in the greatest invention in the world, the HOV lane.  I would avoid the Northern State and its two lanes; the Southern State literally has traffic 24/7 as well; the Meadowbrook will have all the shoppers; and the Parkway most likely will be packed for a few exits. Other than that, you should be golden on any other highway.

For those traveling into the dreaded city, I would be prepared for a slow trip ahead. Definitely avoid the rush hour times, but there might be traffic that can’t be avoided during other times as well. Wait it out as patiently as you can. If you can avoid the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the Cross-Bronx Expressway, and the George Washington Bridge, then you shouldn’t go through too much traffic. If you can’t avoid them, check your radio and see how the traffic is moving at the time. If it’s not, use the bathroom before you leave, have enough gas and snacks, and call a friend (using a blue-tooth of course!) and prepare for the trip ahead.

For those of us who commute to school on a daily basis, be prepared, the week before Christmas is literally the worst week when it comes to driving. Every road near a mall will be jammed-packed with cars trying to get in and out at all times of the day. If you want to go out to eat, think again, restaurants will be packed with shoppers kicking back and relaxing. They’re like a disease. I would just stay local, or if you really need to go to the city or Queens, take public transit and avoid the tourists and shoppers who will be circulating out of the malls.

I want to wish everybody wonderful and happy holidays and a very happy new year. Good luck on final exams and projects, and I hope your grades are good enough to show and brag to your parents about. Have fun this break until you come back and do it all over again. Until next time, safe driving everybody!

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