From my house in Waxhaw, Google Maps says it will take 38 minutes to reach Uptown via Providence Road.
Google Maps, if it actually only took that long I would be a much calmer, much happier person. Instead, I tend to sit on Providence for 45-50 minutes on my morning commute. It is unequivocally the bane of my existence.
Here’s what 50 minutes of driving on Providence Road looks like:
8:55 a.m.: Time to leave for my 10 a.m. start. I will almost certainly be late.
9:00 a.m.: Pulling out of the neighborhood, I almost hit a coyote crossing the street. It looks like the coyote has a squirrel in its mouth. Biodiversity!
9:03 a.m.: I have reached Providence Road! From here on out, it’s a straight shot into the heart of Uptown. Till next time, blinkers. I won’t think of you again until I reach South McDowell Street, where I park (yes, I know there’s a right-hand turn in Myers Park to stay on Providence, but if no one else uses their blinkers in that intersection, then I won’t either).
9:10 a.m.: I’m coming up to my least favorite section of Providence: the Weddington Corners Shopping Center. I slow down to 35 mph, but I’m not happy about it. Recently I’ve been seeing cops monitoring the area though, so better safe than sorry.
9:15 a.m.: There she is! As I leave the shopping center, accelerating to 45 mph as fast as humanly possible, and I’m rewarded with my first glimpse of Uptown. I can see the tips of the Bank of America building, barely rising above the treetops opposite me.
9:25 a.m.: Question: Why is Providence Road always under construction? It shouldn’t be touched. Leave it be as the wild beast it was always meant to be. In other words, I’ve reached my first “Road Work Ahead” sign, which means traffic is coming.
9:40 a.m.: After much sitting idly, I’m finally through the construction traffic, only to be hit with a red light on the pedestrian crosswalk next to the Harris Teeter at the intersection of Queens and Providence as a group of children in blue shirts cross the road. I didn’t even know that stoplight was in use.
9:45 a.m.: I hate having to turn right to stay on Providence, but I get to my parking spot slightly faster than I would if I took an alternate route. Of course, that doesn’t take into account that joining in the long line of cars waiting to turn right takes years off my lifetime. I’ve made it this far using Providence alone so I’m not stopping now, but apparently every other person in Charlotte feels the same way.
9:50 a.m.: Another 35 mph zone. Providence Road was designed to raise blood pressure.
9:55 a.m. With a left turn onto South McDowell, I bid Providence Road adieu for now. It has, of course, crushed my soul once again. I will be late for work.
See you this afternoon, Providence!