Thursday, May 22, 2014
A Time Lapse Decline
I tell ya if you really want to see the decline of the country all you have to do is limit your travel for a decade and then go back to some of your old stomping grounds.
OK I guess that really isn't an easy way to see the decline up front and personal for most people. I am in a unique position in that regard having been pretty well traveled before becoming a local only sort of fellow.
Remember last year when I had to take a couple of trips up to St. Louis and was amazed at the number of empty commercial buildings, lessened traffic and such? Well I had to make another run into the belly of the beast Tuesday afternoon and I was interested to see if my observations of last year still held true.
I mean c'mon we been a recovery a year or more since I was last there...snort :)
Last time I had ventured into the Gateway city I remembered the constant bumper to bumper traffic and how it took hours to travel a mere 20 miles earlier in this century. Man how I used to dread driving in that city. If I had to be somewhere at a certain time I always... I mean always... gave myself at least two hours of lee time. So when I went back last year I carefully planned my times and used circular routes to avoid it as much as possible. I noticed then the traffic was much, much lighter than I remembered but I was also going at much reduced times.
Well this latest trip I forced to go at just about the worst possible time of day. I was picking another driver up at the airport and his plane was scheduled to arrive at 6:15. Yikes that meant hitting the Western suburb areas, those towns with names that all seem to start with a W for some reason at about straight up 5PM and then continuing East across the river to the airport.
At least I was heading East and not West, which is the way most people go trying to get home after work.
There hasn't been any work done on I-70 since I traveled it almost every day a decade or more besides some resurfacing. The lanes still went from two to three to four at the same spots with no fifth one added that I saw. Yet this trip I was actually able to use the cruise control on the vehicle I was driving.
This is astounding in and of itself because ten years ago you couldn't use cruise control on I-70 anywhere East of Kingdom city due to all the truck traffic.
To make a long story short here I hit St. Louis at peak travel times minus maybe 30 minutes and the traffic looked to me like I remember it being at about 3AM. I could switch lanes, there were actually open spots between vehicles, and no one tried to squeeze a pickup truck into a space the size of a volkswagon that I saw.
This may honestly explain why we are not seeing all the articles about crumbling roads like we used to. They aren't important because they aren't being traveled as much.
I can tell you first hand at least in that small part of the world traffic is down by way over 50% of what it was a decade ago.
Recovery my A$$.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!