Originally appeared in the S.F. Examiner on Dec. 27, 2019.
She gets in the back of my taxi at the United terminal, wearing Beats headphones. A clear signal: do not disturb. Which is fine. After finding out her destination — the Proper hotel — I keep my mouth shut. I don’t feel like talking anyway. Until the freeway turns into a parking lot and I kind of need to explain why we’re taking an alternate route.
According to the electronic traffic sign right before the split, it’s 50 minutes to downtown.
Fortunately, I know a shortcut.
In the age of Google Maps, Waze, et al., there aren’t many secret ways to get around The City anymore. Almost everyone relies on GPS nowadays. I use it too, but only to find out which way not to go.
When Google Maps suggests a route, I know that’s the one to avoid, because if they’re telling me to go that way, they’re directing every other driver that way too.
It’s a no-brainer, really. If you want to beat traffic, you have to carve out your own trajectory.
Read the rest here.
[Image from the San Francisco Postcard Collection – Street Scenes from Behind the Wheel.]