In the "For-Whatever-It's-Worth" mode, for the 10 years I lived in San Francisco, I drove a stick shift. (Not all manual transmissions are found within the body and frame of a Ferrari 360.)
More importantly, when I still lived in Santa Cruz, I used to commute to San Leandro. (I know you're in Virginia, so you can click here
to see the route.) It was a 63 mile commute, over a mountain range and then through bumper-to-bumper commute traffic.
Any of the SF Bay area residents here will tell you about Highway 17 -- it's 2 lanes in each direction, makes much of California's fabled Highway 1 look like a straightway, and THE major commute route between Santa Cruz on the coast and San Jose and Silicon Valley. Driving a manual transmission never bugged me, and my little Renault R5GTL would beat Porsche 911s through the windy curves of Highway 17 -- though they'd blow my doors off on the straights!
The point, in terms of espresso, is that where some see a traffic jam, others see an open road . . .