You Think Traffic’s Bad Now

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Guess what? Traffic is getting worse. Guess what else? Historically speaking, it’s not so bad now.

Flashback 20 years ago (“pre-Safeway” for you oldtimers): A trip to a decent grocery store was 30 minutes each way, if there wasn’t an accident between here and the Carefree Highway. That stretch was two lanes in each direction, and any blockage meant backtracking through New River, adding another hour or so. “Did everybody bring water?”

Forty years ago there was the gas crisis. The traffic jams were at the pumps. Plenty of room on the highways, I guess… except when they turned to parking lots because everyone was on E. At least those gas guzzling boats we drove then had roomy back seats. 

Sixty years ago, we were knee deep in the construction of the U.S. Highway System. Imagine trying to convert spaghetti into a symphony. That trusty old dirt road was staring at a half-built clover leaf and you couldn’t figure out how to get there from here. And the GPS wasn’t very good back then. You had a compass, the sun, and a hand-drawn map to grandmother’s house.

Eighty years ago (yes there were cars) we were just working our way from farmers to city folk. No grocery markets, just a little store that had what they had. If you were raised on a farm, you grew your own food and didn’t need to worry about the big-city traffic, dang nabbit. 

One hundred years ago, most of our ancestors were driving horses.

I get it, traffic sucks, and I’m possibly the most impatient person reading this. But when I do surrender to this constipating fact of life and accept it, I’m filled with a significantly reduced desire to make a hood ornament from the head of the guy in front of me, which is nice. Podcasts help, too.


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Chris Prickett
Former contractor, former home inspector and funny guy, Chris Prickett is owner and designated broker of Prickett Realty. A New Jersey native, Prickett has been a top-producing REALTOR® in North Phoenix over the past decade. He has been a columnist since 2005. Over the Prickett Fence is published weekly by In&Out Publications.
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Chris Prickett

Former contractor, former home inspector and funny guy, Chris Prickett is owner and designated broker of Prickett Realty. A New Jersey native, Prickett has been a top-producing REALTOR® in North Phoenix over the past decade. He has been a columnist since 2005. Over the Prickett Fence is published weekly by In&Out Publications.

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