Katya and I are currently renting a room from friends, the Dutchies, in Kitchener. Katya works in Guelph and she doesn't drive, so I take her in every morning and pick her up at 5 every evening.
Kitchener to Guelph is only 18 km but the mass of drivers on the little single lane highway makes the commute take up to 50 minutes at times! Add the big long-haul trucks and the inevitable 80 year old man or nervous middle aged woman in a mini-van, and you have the recipe for my road rage.
This traffic problem is constant, any time of the day. Katya has looked for a car pool, figuring there's so many single-driver cars on the road at rush hour, but not a single person is interested. There's a real nasty vein of pure selfishness running through the KW area that I see on the road, in the stores and in the parks.
Getting tired of "sharing" the road with idiots and assholes, I went looking for my own route. Parallel to highway 7, between the two cities, are a bunch of farms. Farms mean country roads. Country roads are usually set up in square grids and, even better, mean no congestion!
I turned off the main highway (after waiting 12 minutes to reach the intersection) onto a side road, which quickly became a dirt and gravel road, and blew past fields of corn and grazing cows. I followed a zig-zag route, left, right, left, right, and waved back to a farmer servicing his tractor's engine.
With a few more twists and turns, and not a single car in sight, I suddenly found myself on Guelph's Paisley Road! From there it was a quick two blocks to Katya's work!
I now only drive those carless country roads. It takes me 20 minutes, door-to-door, without seeing another car for most of it. I don't know why nobody else goes looking for other routes. Lemmings, maybe? Afraid of the unknown, even if the unknown is only a few miles of farms next door to your hometown? I think most people don't even process the fact that taking another route could even be a possibility. It's just too far outside of their precious little reality.
I'm not complaining, though. I ve never had a problem going off the beaten track (or main road) and I don't mind that I don't need to share with others. Until we relocate permanently to Guelph, you'll find me on those country roads!