“Oh, no’s,” said the bus driver demurely. Demurely is a euphemism for ‘with extra cussing’. “Whtemud is all backed up. We’ll be stuck here forever.”
“Appears so,” I contribute.
“How do I get out of this mess?” he asks. We had just passed the Southgate exit.
“Well, we could get off at 119 street.”
I stop and think, “Shouldn’t he know the streets better than I?”
“Right lane. Exit northbound,” I respond.
“I’m going to call it in,” he says. “Dispatch, is there a problem on the Whitemud? How can I avoid it?” The is obviously a problem on the Whitemud. We’ve stopped moving.
“Yes,” says Dispatch. “We are advising all drivers to avoid the entire Whitemud.”
The driver puts down the radio and says, “Oh no’s” demurely once more.
“I have another pickup at 5:30. Do you think we’ll make it?” he asks me.
I check my iPhone. It is 5:19 pm. If everything had been perfect it is a 15 minutes trip from where we are, a few minutes to unload my scooter, and then a drive to the next pickup and 149 street.
“Nope. No chance.” We still haven’t quite passed Southgate mall – just the exit – trapping us on the road.
“I’d better call Dispatch.” So he does. A different bus is rerouted to that delivery.
Soon’ish, we reach the 119 Street exit. We take it and get on a clear road. Then the ride gets a little weird.
“How do you think we should get there?” he asks.
“You’re the driver. I trust you,” I say.
“You are much smarter than me,” the driver replies.
“You give me too much credit. Um, 199th to Fox Drive. Fox Drive to Whitemud, Whitemud to 170th?”
“No good. We are supposed to avoid the Whitemud. Let’s take Groat.”
“I bet the accident is at Twillegar or Rainbow valley. And we can get off at 149th street if there is still a problem. We should also be able to tell if Fox Drive is backed up before getting on it,” I say without being argumentative.
“I bet Groat is clear. I’ve got a good feeling about it. I hate the Whitemud.”
Now my trip which is usually Whitemud to 170th is now: Whitemud to 119th, 119th to Belgravia, Belgravia to 113 st, 113st to University ave, University Ave turns into Groat, Groat to 107th ave, 107th ave to 163 st, 163 st to 95 ave, 95 ave to 170 st.
I spend the time trying to find traffic reports on the Interwebs. I find an iPhone app that says it has Edmnton traffic reports after failing on both the CBC and Global websites. I check. It says that there is an accident on the Whitemud – at Terwillegar. I was right. Fox Drive would have been the better route. Of course we are already on 107th by this time so I can’t say I told you so.
The rest of the drive went well and I was home by 6. 40 minutes from the start of the traffic. That isn’t too bad.
But why ask my opinion if your are a profesional driver? Courtesy I suppose. But why ignore my opinion then?