As Michael in the Florida Keys will attest, having only one route to get to work can become a major liability, especially when traffic accidents occur. Not being able to quickly dart down a side street when traffic starts to get bad is something I'm still getting accustomed to, living the the BVI. I've written before about how an excavator-loading on the road to my house can make me 30 minutes late for work or, as it did the other day, cause my ice cream to melt as I was held up on the way back from the grocery store.
This morning, I was five minutes from work when I encountered a back-loader that had collided with a jeep in the middle of one of the many switchbacks on Windy Hill. The back-loader couldn't get enough purchase on the steep switchback to move out of the roadway, and a tow truck was going to have to be called in -- an operation that would keep the road closed for around two hours. Had I been in the Florida Keys and on Highway 1, I might have just turned around and headed home. In the BVI though, I am blessed to have at least one alternate route at all times. As it was, I had to backtrack about halfway to town, come down to the coast, and take the long way around to work. In all, my 20-minute commute became 45 minutes. Not too terrible. Still, I desperately missed those side streets and alleyways of my gridded-street Denver youth.