As Valentine’s Day approaches I can’t help but note my love for the Schuylkill Expressway. Let’s be real. How can you not love good ol’ 76? While the loving relationship we all share with the Expressway is a unique one, there are a few tricks to making the most of it.
The Expressway is there to serve you. She’s meant to get you from Point A to Point B in the fastest time possible. But don’t test her. The faster you have to be somewhere, the longer she’s going to make you wait. How can you even get mad when she makes you 20 minutes late? Odds are if you ever plan on driving on 76 at any time of day, any day of the week, any time of the year, you will need approximately three and a half times the estimated driving time that Google Maps will give you. But it’s better to do that than cause an argument. And it’s more quality time to spend with each other.
You get to listen to all of your favorite radio stations together. Which means flipping through three mainstream Philadelphia radio stations and listening to exactly four songs as they rotate through. And every time Meghan Trainor sings “Lips Are Movin’” you wonder if 76 knows you opted to take 95 the night before and weren’t just at a bar with some buddies.
You can always turn off the radio and listen to the guy in the car next to you suffer through a severe case of road rage. We’re talking horn-honking, screaming-into-your-cell-phone, struggling-against-your-seatbelt road rage. It’s like going out for a night of comedy but sitting in your might-as-well-be-in-park car.
No matter how long you’ve been in the same spot, whatever you do, don’t ignore her. As soon as you pick up that iPhone to check your email, call your mom or refresh Twitter … next thing you know the car behind you is beeping for you to move up half a car’s length. This will repeat each time you get approximately 17 characters into a tweet and you’ll never know exactly how good your friend’s Chipotle was.
If you ever find yourself at a point in your relationship where you think things are starting to move a bit too fast, just switch lanes. The moment you move your car into a new lane that one will automatically come to a crawl while the other cars whiz on by. Don’t you dare think about moving into a faster lane at this point. You might as well be sentencing yourself to a week of sleeping on the couch. Do that and nearly all of 76 will turn into a parking lot.
I could go on and on about how to perfect your relationship with the Schuylkill Expressway, but the best way to do that is to just go out there and see what happens.
Julia Casciato is the Opinion Editor at the Triangle. She can be contacted at [email protected].