10 things to do when you’re stopped in construction traffic

We know what you’ve been thinking while driving this spring. Road construction. Everywhere.

Undoubtedly, you’ve crisscrossed the city to find a new route, only to find more closed roads and detours. You may have even tried to ford the Grand River after exhausting every possible crossing.

At the Chamber, we can count on our Director of Government Affairs Josh Lunger to remind us that well-planned road construction is a good thing. We welcome construction season with open arms, waiting in anticipation for the first orange barrel to hit our streets. We know that construction means development and investment in our city and its infrastructure. Can we complain about bad roads and road construction? We think not.

To help you combat the construction blues and get in our mind set, here are 10 things to do when you’re stopped in construction traffic:

Phone a friend (hands free, of course).

You don’t have to go through this alone. Call your state legislator and ask them to make road funding commitments a top priority. A construction buddy will help the time fly.

Update your clock and radio presets.

How often do you listen to anything after preset 3? Did you forget how to reset your clock or are you waiting until the next daylight savings time to correct itself? Get that clock to the minute so you’re not late to the next Chamber event.

Organize your glovebox.

When was the last time you opened that thing? Take a few minutes and dive deep into that time capsule. But don’t go overboard.

Get really into podcasts.

There’s still time to become a podcast person. And let’s face it, you have a plethora of time in the car these days. All the cool kids are listening to S-Town but you’re bound to find something on this list to keep you entertained.

Look for birds.

You heard us. Grand Rapids has two nesting pairs of peregrine falcons. Look for them when you’re downtown or take a peek right now. And what luck! West Michigan is in the path of migratory birds and spring is the season. Who knows what you might see.

Remain calm.

Not into birds? You can find your inner peace with a little car meditation. Use the time to practice your mindfulness.

Work up a sweat.

Maybe you’re on your way to one of our member’s fitness facilities (or maybe you need help finding one). We know it’s hard to find time to work out. Don’t worry! We solved your problem by tracking down a car aerobics work out plan. If it seems too intense, try some light finger exercises. You’re welcome.

Practice your golf swing.

Get ready for some brain science! Studies show that visualization is a powerful way to build new neuropathways in the brain which result in positive results when put in action. Mentally practice a skill you’d like to improve and reap the rewards! Tiger Woods does it.

Learn an instrument.

Take inspiration from The Fab Four, The Bard, and The Boss and learn to play the harmonica, a seriously hands free But keep those windows closed, okay?

Get in the spirit.

Open that moon roof, soak up the sun, and learn all the words to Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations. We think this is a perfect anthem for summer construction dedicated to building up our city.

We hope these tips change your feelings about construction season here in Michigan. In no time the clamor of heavy machinery will be a soothing sound, signaling the beginning of spring, and the smell of freshly poured asphalt will instill a sense of pride and excitement in new pathways to progress.

Disclaimer: Distracted driving is unsafe and should be taken seriously. Go phone free while behind the wheel.

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