For those of us who were deemed "essential" when the government-ordered shutdown of New Jersey and other states began, the one really nice benefit was the easy commute. Morning and afternoon drive times were a joy compared to when everyone was heading to the office.

The other ancillary benefit was road crews were free to repave any and every road that was in need, or so it seemed. In case you haven't noticed, a lot of our roads have been nicely repaired since March. Hats off to all of the state Department of Transportation workers and other contractors whose job it is to keep the roads nicely paved

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Well, the party may be over for commuter traffic.

I'm not sure what the exact reason for the increased traffic on all of our roads right now, but it seems like we've rebounded to normal levels. Maybe people are just going for a drive, or some have ventured back to the office a few days a week. Retail stores are opened at limited capacity and restaurants that can are offering outdoor dining, but it's a fraction of what it was. The drive to and from work on the major highways is just slightly better than before the shutdowns, but local traffic seems to be at regular levels.

The way I judge the traffic level in my town is how long it takes me to get out of my driveway between 5:30 and 6 p.m. That's usually the time I bring dinner to a family member's house. Since I live on a county road, during normal times I can wait up to two minutes to find an opening in traffic. Well, judging by how long I've been waiting the last two weeks, we're back to normal traffic. Now if we can get the economy back to normal, we'd be in good shape.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis' own.