Every morning, at 6:00 a.m., an oddly shaped truck takes off from the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. There is a driver and a lone SOB in the back, whose job it is is to poke thousands of plastic pipes, neatly stacked in the truck, into holes cut into the pavement on the left lane of the outbound side, all the way up the helix and out I-495, to the entrance of the NJ Turnpike.
When it completes its mission those little stanchions delineate the special HOV bus lane, which will only remain in service until 10:00 a.m., the official end of the "morning rush." After that the truck reverses course and collects all the little pipes until, once again, it hits the entrance to the tunnel, where it will wait on the tarmac until called into service the next business day.
Only there was no special bus lane today. It seems that it rained over the weekend. Hard. And the water filled up the holes in the highway. Then, last night, the water in the holes froze.
Three guesses what they couldn't stick into the holes this morning. Right. The plastic pipes. Thus causing many tens of thousands of people to be late for work today. My bus driver opted for the scenic route, via 1&9, to Hoboken, through the Holland Tunnel and up the West Side Highway (past a lot of long forgotten gay bars I went to when I first moved to New York in the 12th Century) then up 10th Avenue to the Deuce. Er, sorry, 42nd Street (it was called "the deuce" by the low-lifes who hung out there before Guiliani went and Disneyfied the place).
This comes right in the midst of New Jersey Governor Corzine's big marketing campaign to get people to go along with his plan to double turnpike fares in the next year. And every two years thereafter until 2020.
Yeah. Right. Sign me up, Jon.