Motorists bemoan rush-hour madness

Patricia Martin keeps her eyes on the stalled traffic as she comes to a complete stop on I-20 during her Monday morning commute from her home in Rankin County to work at Belhaven College in Jackson.

Patricia Martin is in her silver 2002 Pontiac Grand Am slowly pulling out of her garage, steering away from the tranquility of her tidy Rankin County neighborhood with its manicured lawns.

Her hair is styled, her lipstick is on, her lunch is packed. It is 7:21 a.m. on Monday, and Martin is ready for The Commute.

Martin, a Belhaven College administrative assistant, is about to join roughly 20,000 other rush-hour motorists negotiating their way through a labyrinth of congested highways, the storied convergence of I-20, I-55 and U.S. 49, otherwise known as The Stack.

She travels not long on I-20 West before the seemingly interminable backup strikes, and her sardonic wit takes over. “This is always so much fun,” she says, as her speed slows to a near halt.

Clarion Ledger
4/20/5