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Old 07-15-2009, 12:01 AM   #200 (permalink)
NeilBlanchard
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My commute is...

Hi,

My commute is ~45 miles each way from Maynard to Hanover MA. Route 117 to Route 20 to Route 128 to Route 3.

The Rt. 117 is ~12.5 miles of two lane road that is somewhat hilly in parts and flatter in others. When I start out is critical to the amount of traffic I get -- too late and I get at least half of it in stop and go and it takes up to ~50 minutes. If I start early (or late), then it is a 20 minute ~45mph cruise. It gets more dense traffic as I move east closer to Rt. 128, naturally.

The bit on Rt. 20 is very short with a lot of traffic, culminating in a rotary-style entrance onto Rt. 128. Rt. 128 and Rt. 3 south is a MUCH easier drive than going north (in the morning; vis versa in the afternoon), but it gets choked down to stop and go in a few places typically (but not always) -- and sometimes when there is an accident or construction, etc. it can be a mess.

I pulse and glide when I can on Rt. 117, and I coast in neutral down the hills and approaching the 3 traffic lights. When I get stuck in stop and go, I let a gap open up so I can get into 3rd gear and let the engine idle and I go ~15mph and get ~54mpg. I shut off the engine at stop lights, and I either watch the lights in the opposite direction if I can see them, or I restart when I see the brake lights go off a few vehicles ahead of me.

Rt. 128/3 I go ~50-55mph, coast in neutral on long hills (and I just push in the clutch on the short hills). I try to "swoop" on the hills and this works on all but the longest ones. I always downshift and engine brake when I need to slow more that coasting can provide. I have figured out which lane to be in in all the various interchanges so I can most likely keep ecodriving.

I have the luxury of being a contractor in the office, so I usually leave at 4:00pm to avoid the worst of the traffic home. The trip home often involves going to pick up my two kids in either Framingham and/or Ashland, so I get to drive on the Mass Pike from Exit 15 to Exit 12 (or Exit 13), and this is similar to the other limited access highways.

This adds ~15 miles, and I get to drive in the peak evening local traffic from Framingham up to Maynard. I have found it is better for FE to stick to the bigger flatter roads even though they have more traffic; partly because I can just shut off the engine at lights, and there are good coasting and P&G opportunities, too.
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Sincerely, Neil

http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/
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