Getting Around in Grand Junction

By: Amanda Wagner
By: Amanda Wagner

Growing up in the Grand Valley, you'd think I would know the shortest, fastest routes around town and be able to give great directions.... right? WRONG!

Growing Up in the Grand Valley:  The Road More - or Less Traveled


Being a Grand Valley native, you’d think that when I get behind the wheel, I’d know all the shortcuts and quick routes around the city – but one thing I’ve noticed about my travel routes versus ‘implants’ into the city is that while I do have a few quick routes up my sleeve (watch for those tricks in my blog in the coming weeks) generally, I take the road most traveled, not the road less traveled when getting around town.  Another reason I know, GPS.  Rarely to my GPS and I agree on the “best” route to my destination (not that I need the GPS to get around, but I like to compare routes from time to time, I guess it’s the competitive part of me).  Plus, I find that I always take the same route to frequently traveled destinations.


My lack of adaptability has become more obvious with lane/road closures because of construction.  I live in the North part of the city and whenever I get in my car to head towards the mall, I always take Patterson/F road (we’ll get in to the multiple names for roads later).  Why do I take that route when there’s a different lane configuration everyday?  Why do I go on a road that during busy travel times, it’s a challenge to even get on, let alone turn off of?  One word, habit.  I could just as easily take any of the parallel roads and connect to exactly where I need to go, but there’s something programmed in my brain that puts me on autopilot when behind the wheel in this city (probably not the safest mode to be in, I admit).


In addition, I’ve noticed that because I don’t think about where I’m going, on a daily basis, I’m horrible at giving directions - something everyone in our newsroom can attest to.  Instead of the names of roads I refer to landmarks.  For example, to me, 7th Street is the road the Hospital is on.  Anywhere else I potentially need to get on  7th street, is in relation to that landmark.  Similarly I associate  12th street With Mesa State , and it’s the worst on Main Street.  I don’t know the blocks as their traditionally numbered addresses (400, 500 block) but rather the businesses on the corner of each block.  Bizarre, I know.



I’d like to know your observations.  If you’ve been in the Valley for years, do you find yourself like me, motoring along down the same routes?  Or do you switch it up?  Are you able to incorporate new roads into your routine i.e. the riverside parkway, or do you find yourself inadvertently missing the turn and going the same old way?  Post your comments above.

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  • by Chuck Location: GJ on Jun 19, 2009 at 08:55 PM
    I know the feeling, I do the same thing, 'go to St Mary's, hang a right to Safeway, hang a right and in 1/4 mile on right is Graffs Dairy'. And I like the parkway, it puts me to Mays Concrete, up and over the loop, back outon to the loop westbound to one of my shippers by the boat store, hahahaha, and Acorn truckstop. I forget to give street/road names, and if I do it's usually the old names like F rd, 26 Rd, most people have no idea that North Ave is also US 6&24, or that Lincoln Park was actually a campground for the hands and their families that built GJ, and used to have a small zoo {ask your Dad}. Have fun with the new streets that are popping up everywhere. Need 2 Yaqui scouts and a guide dog to find your way around some places.
  • by Amanda Location: KKCO on Feb 13, 2009 at 03:06 PM
    Brad - Thanks for your comment. I agree, once 'secret' roads are now clogged routes! Thanks for watching 11 News.
  • by Brad Location: GJ on Feb 12, 2009 at 10:22 AM
    Personally, I try to take different routes on my traditional travelS on a pretty regular basis. (I read in some motivational/keep you brain fresh book that it is a good idea). But I also have to admit that i often fall back on old stand by routes (some I won't mention so as to keep them my secret), but there are several roads that used to be secrets (G Road) that now seem to be everyone's secrets(s). ...and oh by the way I think the Bypass was a great idea, but did we NEED to take tax payers money to eliminate the railroad crossing to River Road in front of Bananas? It worked fine and I am sure took more money to eliminate it, than it would have to have just left in place. Sorry for my irrational commentary and rants that is probably enough for now...... As always Amanda thank you for everything that you bring to the GJ news world. WE ARE VERY GLAD YOU ARE BACK!!!!
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