It's approaching the end of the day's rush hour traffic in Lubbock. Six o'clock. It's not unusual to see cars slowly driving home through construction. The mornings and afternoon commutes are just as bad.
We talked with one Lubbock driver who says to drive through construction is a matter of grinning and bearing it. "If I leave at 7:30 a.m., it usually takes me 20 to 25 minutes to get to work," said Sarah Cook. Sarah is like many in Lubbock. She dreads the morning commute to work. "The earlier you leave, the worse it is. If you wait until you're almost late for work then you can get there pretty quickly."
Sarah agreed to let us follow her to work with our camera in her car. We left at 7:44 a.m. exactly. We'll see what she sees five days a week. "We can go 60 mph for a quarter of a mile then we have to go 50," she said.
Sarah started her commute from 10th Drive, near 4th Street and Highway 114. "It's not bad this morning, it's usually backed up to that overpass," she told us.
Lucky as Sarah put it. But we did come across familiar obstacles along the way. "12 MPH," Sarah was reciting her speed while crossing over the Brownfield Highway. It becomes tricky there. One lane.
Cars start slowing down, pressing on their breaks more times than usual. And when drivers aren't paying attention, Sarah says it's a potentially dangerous situation. "I wonder which way's she's turning? You can't tell because she doesn't have her blinker on!" Sarah said to one motorist.
It took her 11 minutes to make it clear across town from 4th to Indiana and 82 Street. Sarah says it was her lucky day to have that kind of timing. Because normally, she says its worse. "Monday was a bear. It was awful! I got off and went through town," she said.
Lubbock patrol Sergeant Ronny Sowell says keep in mind that Tech students will add to the congestion once school starts next month. Enrollment is up by 2,000 more students this year, which will put a ground swell of vehicles on the road.