Saturday Night Live used to have a sketch called “The Californians” where the people interacted by sharing their various routes to get either to where they currently were or where they needed to go.

Guess what? That actually happens.

From where I live to where I work is twelve miles. It usually takes me an hour, less if school is out and more if anything remotely goes wrong on one of the canyon roads I have to take to get from the San Fernando Valley into Beverly Hills. That’s a mile every five minutes. Some runners move faster than that.

Why is it that way? Density and sprawl are the primary ones—that and a lack of truly accessible public transportation. I grew up in a city where I could walk down to the end of my block, pick up the MBTA Green line trolley, and go into downtown Boston with ease. Here there is technically a subway, but unless I’m going to somewhere downtown I can’t get to where I need to in under two hours, or more. There is no subway going from the Valley to Beverly Hills. There are many reasons for that and while the subway situation is improving this particular route isn’t likely to change any time soon.

So yes, we Californians do talk traffic. We don’t have weather so we had to find a replacement. Right now, there is a closure on Benedict Canyon, one of the alternate routes for the big canyon roads (those being Laurel Canyon, Coldwater Canyon, Beverly Glen and Sepulveda). This closure is from 9 AM to 9 PM and right before it happened those of us directly affected had many conversations about what alternates we were going to take and how it would affect us. Fortunately, so far it has not affected us much. We have another 6 ½ months of the closure so we are all crossing our fingers that will continue.

Otherwise, this is what audio books are for. Silver lining, right? I’m in the process of getting the first Elementals book ready for audio distribution so if nothing else I’ll be able to spend the time productively. We have to take the good with the bad. Free time in the car for all! Get your news here! Sirius XM is your friend.

Claire Davon

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