Route 30 Gives My Head the Business

Last night Mrs. QC and I found ourselves on the way from Frazer, PA (Chee burger Chee burger) to Downingtown (Wegmans) via Lancaster Avenue, US 30. As we approached US 202, the Exton Bypass beckoned. If we wanted to stay on US 30, we would have to be seduced by the bypass’ call, for Lancaster Avenue becomes US 30 Business — “Business 30” as we call it — at that point and remains so until the expressway ends past Parkesburg about 20 miles to the west.

The Exton bypass is the newest expressway in the Delaware Valley — it opened about 10 years ago — and I’ve only had occasion to drive on it maybe ten times even though it’s only five miles south of my home.

I haven’t done much expressway driving in our relatively new car, so I said, “Let’s take the bypass and I’ll open this baby up.”

As we cruised over the southern edge of Exton at the breakneck speed of 65 mph, I experienced the same disconnect I’ve experienced most other times I’ve driven on the bypass: The distance covered on the bypass seems much greater than that covered by Business 30.

There’s also a time aspect — it doesn’t seem like the bypass saves any time either. That feeling persists despite knowing my average speed on Business 30 — not counting several potential stops at traffic lights — is easily 20 mph lower.

I measured the distances on GMaps-Pedometer and as I suspected, there is hardly any difference between the two routes. Business 30 is pretty much a straight shot — 4.479 miles.

Frazer to Downingtown via Lancaster Avenue
The bypass, because it veers to the southwest before curving northward, is longer — 4.832 miles.

Frazer to Downingtown via the Exton Bypass

But just a little longer.

The difference of 0.353 miles is hardly sufficient to make it seem like the bypass is so much longer … is it? I mean 0.353 miles goes by at the blink of any eye at 65 mph — if it takes you 19 seconds to blink that is. Nevertheless, the bypass route seems to take at least seven minutes, which ironically is about how long it probably really does take via Business 30.

It’s odd — and it kind of freaks me out.

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