I take shortcuts every day. Sometimes, multiple times a day.
I live in the city, not the suburbs. I live on a dead end street where a lot of people don’t even think there are streets. We had no idea there was a neighborhood back here and when we told people where we were moving, a few people argued that we must be mistaken!
It’s so small and secluded that we all see the comings and goings of our neighbors from our picture windows and like a small town, we know when you’re an outsider.
Our street traffic is minimal: half residents, half lost drivers.
If you’re on foot, someone unwelcoming will open their front door and yell out, “CAN I HELP YOU? ARE YOU LOST?”
There is a price to be paid for tucked-away city nature on interstate-adjacent land.
Leaving my street during rush hours is PERILOUS. If you’d like to turn right, you can, eventually. Theoretically, you can merge across four lanes in less than a quarter mile, or merge across two lanes in a half mile — if you’re feeling brave, invincible, or suicidal.
That is the most direct route to anything north of here, including I-69N and I-65N, but like I said, not during rush hours.
Turning left is a PERILOUS JOKE during rush hours. It’s battling a busy intersection on one side or the incoming interstate traffic from the other. There’s a school across the street, so sometimes the line of traffic extends beyond and you literally cannot turn left, in which case, if you have plenty of time, you can turn right to turn left.
Again, it’s the most direct route to anything south of here, including downtown, I-70, and I-65S, but not during rush hours.
So you’d ask, “If you can’t turn right and you can’t turn left…”
NO, YOU CANNOT GO STRAIGHT. Maybe at 3am, but otherwise, NO. Oh, wait, are you Speed Racer? Non? Then NO.
You do what we do, which is drive through alleys and parking lots and secret streets even shorter than our own. Every day, sometimes multiple times a day.
No map app would tell you to do it, but it’s faster and safer and far easier on your nerves.
Instead of seeing your life flash before your eyes or the chaos of turn signals and brake lights, you’ll see children, birds, squirrels, bunnies, and cats.
It means quiet times when you get to turn right or left are extra special.
One thing I can say about driving at 5:20am, I make that trip in three minutes instead of five and I never almost die.
Somewhere, there’s someone sayin, “If you can get there in three minutes, you should just walk,” and I must remind people this is a city, that it’s illegal to walk on the interstate, and the walk time is actually 37 minutes (43 for teenagers).
I found the shortcuts on foot.
For walkers, there are two PERILOUS sections, three if you don’t take the shortcuts.