When I moved from the Corning area to Binghamton, I would invite my family to visit whenever they wanted. I traveled west on Route 17/I-86 many times to visit my parents and siblings for a weekend, birthday parties, family get together cookouts and some of the holidays.

And a few of my siblings would come to Binghamton to visit me, but not very often. I know its about a 90 minute drive from where each of my parents and siblings lived, so it was not the most convenient drive for a visit.

My dad was probably the one who visited the least. As he got older, he was less and less apt to travel on busy roads. And the traffic where he lived in the country just outside the Corning area is a whole different world than the traffic in the Southern Tier. My dad did not want visit me in Binghamton because he wasn't comfortable driving in "Big City traffic" as he called it. I never thought of the Southern Tier as having big city traffic.

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But we do have basically three interstate highways running through our area with heavy  traffic coming through not only locally, but from many areas across the northeast portion of the country.  So I guess you could call it big city traffic.

And it seems to be getting more hectic, at least to me. Whenever I merge onto Route 17/I-86, I-88 or I-81, I feel as if I've just come out of the pits onto a race car track. It's a challenge trying to get into the lane I need to get into and keep up with traffic that is going well over the speed limit.

Then there are the ramp merges. The ones I hate the most are the entrance ramps onto Route 17/I-86 from both the northbound and southbound lanes of Route 26. I hate getting caught between vehicles in the passing lane and the vehicles lined up  bumper to bumper entering the highway.

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Many times, I don't have the option to merge into the passing lane and many times the vehicles coming to the highway from the entrance ramps are already up to the speed limit or more keeping pace with me. My choice is to slow down, or floor the gas pedal. Big city driving indeed.

via Google Maps

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