Wednesday, March 24, 2010

An experiment in efficiency...

For today’s new experience, I give you the result of a little experiment I conducted this week. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I drove back and forth from my house in Excel to the Wind Creek Casino and Hotel in Atmore, and I know that I will have to make that trip many times in the future (due to my new full-time job there).
Now, I’ve been to Atmore dozens of times over the years, but earlier this week, I got to wondering: What’s the quickest and most efficient way to get to the casino from my house?
Finding the best route would not only save me time, but for every mile I shave off the trip, I’ll be saving gas and money.
The consensus among folks in Excel is that the quickest way to get to Atmore is to take Butler Street to Escambia County Road 10, which will take you to State Highway 21, passed the prisons, and straight to the casino entrance.
However, if you consult Google Maps, it will tell you to that the quickest route (but not the shortest) is to hit State Highway 41 in Repton, travel south to I-65 and take it south to Exit 57, which will put you on State Highway 21, just down from the casino.
In addition to these two routes, I also tried one other and here are the results. Keep in mind that while this distances are pretty rock solid, your travel time will likely vary. I drove about 60 miles per hour where possible on state and county roads and about 75 on the interstate. Also, as you know, traffic flow, school buses and weather (like the fog we had this morning) will affect your travel time, causing it to likely vary from trip to trip.
Route 1: Left Excel on Wildfork Road, took Butler Street to Escambia County Road 10, and took it to State Highway 21 and down to the casino. Total mileage was 31.2 miles (according to my truck’s odometer) and total travel time from my driveway to the casino employee parking lot was 38 minutes and 5.41 seconds (according to the stopwatch on my trusty, battle-tested Timex).
Route 2: Got on U.S. Highway 84 at Dottelle and traveled west to State Highway 21 at Ollie, from there I took 21 all the way through Frisco City and Uriah to the casino. Distance was 36.9 miles and travel time was 44:54.03.
Route 3: Got on U.S. Highway 84 at Dottelle, traveled east to Repton, where I got on State Highway 41 and traveled south to I-65, which I took to Exit 57, where I got off and traveled the short distance to the casino. Distance was 36.4 miles and travel time was 38:39.81.
In the end, it appears that routes one and three are pretty much the same when it comes to time, but you’ll save on gas by using Butler Street. Route 2 now seems out of the question, but I gave it a shot because the roads are in good condition, traffic usually moves at a good pace and I only had to make a couple of turns.
If you know of any super secret short cuts to Atmore from the Monroeville-Excel area, I’d like to hear it. Leave me a comment below or shoot me an e-mail.

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