Friday, February 13, 2009

Traffic Reports

I'm not going to lie, I miss the west coast. I lived in San Diego county before I moved to Charlotte, NC and I was checking out one of my friends, Veronica Miranda's blog today, reminiscing about the things I love in San Diego county. There is a pace of life and a feeling in the ocean air on the west coast, north and south, that is unlike any place I've been. I saw her photographs and longed for the smell of salt air, the company of funky beach people, even the heat on the sidewalks in summer.

But the thing I will NOT miss is driving, no, sitting in my car in traffic everyday. Living in San Diego people don't have it nearly as bad as folks living in Los Angeles. I did that too, for a short while, and everyday you could feel your brain start to atrophy, melting down to the point where you start speaking gibberish to yourself and punching your steering wheel, feeling precious years slowly being taken away from your lifespan.

This morning around 7 a.m. I was returning home from dropping my wife off at work (we only have one car) and I was listening to WFAE 90.7 (NPR) on the radio when the traffic report came on. The broadcaster mentioned a traffic accident at some intersection in Charlotte and then moved on to another segment of the show. ONE traffic accident! After it was announced he said something like, "And that's the only traffic problem we have to report this morning." I couldn't believe it. In Southern California, and as I mentioned, especially in Los Angeles and Orange counties, there are entire segments on the radio devoted solely to traffic reports. Most of those stations have hired reporters just for that purpose; to report on jams, grid-locks, crashes, animals running around on the freeway, ladders in the road, construction and more. Some radio broadcasts report traffic stories every 15 minutes. At 7 a.m. in Southern California there would probably be at least 5 freeways jammed, and maybe 10 traffic accidents. And it's that way everyday.

photos from top to bottom: Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego on a normal weekday afternoon.

During my short time living in Charlotte I've very rarely had to use the freeway. And when the time came to do so I discovered the speed limit was 55 miles per hour. Most of the time, I'm driving through town going 35. And when people tell me, with some exasperation in their voice, that it takes about 30 minutes to drive from south Charlotte to north Charlotte, I chuckle and say, "30 minutes? That's it?".

So yes, there are very nice things about Southern California, the entire state of California for that matter, but having to sit in your car for hours, creeping along on the asphalt, isn't one of them.


  1. Mr. California, 30 mins in the south is a long time...ha ha ha. Speed Limit says 55 but people usually go 65-70.

  2. 30 minutes in the south is a long time... ha ha.
    You need to speed it up buddy... Going 55 will get you killed...