I have wasted many an hour, enough hours that they surely add up to days, weeks, perhaps months, sitting in the slow, fiery hell that is the Parkway East.
I hate, loathe, seethe at the Parkway East. I wish it ill. I evil eye it and spit upon it every chance I get. If I were to ever find myself walking on the Parkway East, I would dig my heels in mercilessly and curse vehemently the godforsaken stretch of road.
Reader Patrick recently emailed me a handy list of how to drive in Pittsburgh and this one particularly struck me between my eyeballs:
2. The morning rush hour is from 5:00 am to noon. The evening rush hour is from noon to 7:00 pm. Friday’s rush hour starts on Thursday morning.
Prior to his promotion to the cushiest job in the history of cushy jobs, my father and I carpooled to town every day. We did our damnedest to avoid all traffic, but seriously, this is Pittsburgh. Avoiding traffic is like trying to avoid pigeons. Not. Possible.
We had many discussions on how we would alleviate the hell of the Parkway East if we were ever given the chance. We discussed adjusting the yields, annihilating the assholes who cannot merge, giving up on the Mon Fayette Never Ever Happening Expressway. We discussed the losers who slam on their brakes at the mouth of the tunnel as if they just realized they were driving into the ocean. We discussed blowing the mountain up to remove the tunnels completely, the people living on the mountain be damned. These are trying times. Sacrifices must be made.
I remember one particularly bad day on the Parkway after my father and I were no longer carpooling. I left work at 5:00 p.m. and while sitting in a traffic jam surely borne of Satan, Delilah After Dark came on my radio. Delilah After Dark starts at 7:00. I was pissed. I was shaking. When I was finally freed of the Parkway, I slammed my foot on the accelerator and did maneuvers that would have made Danica Patrick stand up, take notice, and say, “She’s a really shitty driver.”
I couldn’t even make it to my place one mile from my parent’s house. Their house was closer and wine lived there. I stalked into their house, past my father sitting down doing a crossword puzzle, past my mother standing in her kitchen drinking a cup of coffee asking me sweetly if I’d like dinner, to the wine bottle I knew would be sitting on the counter and gulped it with shaking hands.
There are two things that will drive me to drink. Lukey and the Parkway East.
Having said all of this, check this out:
Now the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has a plan: Build elevated toll lanes over part of the Parkway East between Downtown and Monroeville. “It’s an idea, that’s all,” turnpike commission Chief Executive Officer Joe Brimmeier said.
It is an idea. It is an idea like every other idea that has never come to fruition.
But PittGirl has already resigned herself to this very real fact: By the time they figure out a way to alleviate the traffic on the Parkway East, there will be flying cars, and I will fly my car in a way that would make Danica Patrick stand up, take notice, and say, “She’s a REALLY shitty flier.”
Kiss my ass, Parkway East.