How To Beat The Random Road Closure
Let's face it. Road closures these days have become quite common. And oftentimes, it can catch drivers by surprise and add an extended delay to their commute. Not all road closures are announced on GPS navigation systems, particularly minor utility work that could very easily block all lanes on a given road. As couriers, we are confronted with these circumstances all the time. And whether you're driving for work or just trying to get home, we have some solutions to keep in mind when coming across random road closures.
Before we get into the list, I want to mention a time when, as a courier, I came across a random road closure in the Hollywood hills. It was roughly 2 miles off Mulholland Drive. I come across utility workers blocking both lanes of traffic to repair some pipes. The ultimate frustration came from the fact that my destination was just over a mile away, and to drive around would literally add something like 15-20 minutes to the delivery. I was able to reason with the security guard on-site and park my car while I walked the delivery the rest of the way. I couldn't be mad at the utility workers even though the closure wasn't announced on GPS because, at the end of the day, they are performing a vital service to our infrastructure. If anything, I was mad at myself for not planning ahead. And because of situations like this, I always do a quick study of every delivery route to avoid delays and assure safe and timely delivery.
Mistah Wilson, publisher of ThaWilsonBlock Magazine and Host of WilsonBlock100 Radio, did a podcast episode titled "Why No One Questions Road Work" and provides an insightful perspective on traffic delays caused by random road closures. The utility work can be tolerated, but it's the private construction projects that don't directly benefit the people in traffic that suffer from the delays. Time, money, emotional stress.
If you're traveling to a destination off the beaten path or along a route you don't frequent, it is good practice to kind of study the route before leaving. Identify alternate routes along the way that may help you avoid any potential closures. It's good to pay attention to any blips along the way whether they are car accidents, speed traps, or of course, road closures. Planning ahead can be key to minimizing the possibility of delays along your journey.
Read Your Map
Whether you're on a frequent path or along a route you've never been on, today you can read your map to understand road height levels, when to connect to alternative routes, routes to avoid altogether, etc. For the more experienced local courier, all they typically need is the nearest intersection before having to utilize GPS to find the exact address and suite. Reading your map can help prevent delays by staying a few steps ahead of the curve.