Blogs > City Editor's Blog

By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Debunking the 'No one is traveling' myth

The oft-repeated prediction across the news media last week was that far fewer people than usual would travel over the Fourth of July weekend because of high gas prices.

If the New York State Thruway on Sunday was any indication, the predictions were dead wrong.

Rhona and I left Rochester, headed back toward Kingston, about 2 p.m. Sunday, and the east-west section of the Thruway was as busy as I’ve ever seen it. It got so bad, in fact, after Exit 24 in Albany that we got off at Exit 23 and took Route 9W home from there – something we’ve never felt compelled to do in the 20-plus years we’ve lived in the Hudson Valley.

The Thruway service areas, meanwhile, were absolutely jammed with cars and people, and one of the editors in the Freeman newsroom told me late Sunday that there were reports of southbound traffic on the highway being bumper-to-bumper slow in Ulster County.

And I heard from one of our reporters, who lives in Woodstock, that the town was absolutely packed with New York City folk over the weekend. He described it as looking like Manhattan had relocated to his community.

The bottom line is this: Gas prices are high. No one likes paying between $4 and $4.20 a gallon for what used to cost less than $2. But, unless it means not having enough money for the basic necessities of life, people are not going to let one inflated expense stop them from enjoying themselves.

The Fourth of July weekend proved that, and I suspect the same will be true for the rest of the summer.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home