Snapshot from St. Louis: Oh yeah, thats what traffic looks like

May 25, 2007

congestion2.jpgIf like us you travel Route 66 the wrong way round the vast majority of people take the trip west for the true highway experience then once you leave Los Angeles there are no major cities until you reach St. Louis in Missouri.

And the traffic on the roads reflects that. There is nothing reminiscent of the broad, clogged highways of Los Angeles until you reach St. Louis though even then St. Louis is nowhere near as busy as Los Angeles.

It’s true that Albuquerque in New Mexico, Amarillo in Texas, plus Oklahoma City and Tulsa in Oklahoma are also on the route.

But these are medium-sized U.S. cities and while the traffic on the Interstate system that run through and connects them are busy with traffic, this is nothing compared to St Louis, particularly during rush hour. There are also plenty of wide open, sparsely populated spaces between these cities.

Some 3 million people live in St. Louis and the area surrounding it and it shows, with some five-lane highways that are solid.

This scene is particularly striking because for the intervening 2,000 miles of highway there is simply nothing to compare with the massive press of humanity of around Los Angeles until you get here.

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I went to LA when I was 19 in 1965. Drove my 54 Chevy, total gas bill was under $50 bucks, lived in Redlands for a year or so. First job was a 3 minute car wash that lasted about 6 months. Surfed Newport/Balboa on the weekends. Spent winter time at Big Bear, Palm Springs and Death Valley. Great area. Route 66 was pretty great, went thorough the switch backs at night (Winslow, AZ?) at anyrate, it was a slow go up the mountains with dim street lights of the little towns.

Posted by Jim Edgar | Report as abusive