It goes without saying that no one likes traffic. It’s noisy, hot, pollutes like crazy, and wastes your time. Not to mention that it never comes during a relaxing drive — you’re probably on your way to work or something time-sensitive when it strikes. Even thinking about a fictional traffic-related scenario makes my blood-pressure rise.
But that’s the beauty of Prince George – traffic barely crosses my mind. I simply get in my vehicle or hop on my bike and go. Traveling around here doesn’t really require any planning around when and where you’re heading; the trip is almost always going to be the same length. Five or so minutes may be added to your trip on occasion, but it’s likely before nine in the morning or around five in the evening as everyone heads to and from work. This sharply contrasts with most large urban centres, none more exemplary than Vancouver where, depending on what time you leave, could see your travel time increased by hours. I recently traveled down to Vancouver for business and was quickly reminded that an itinerary was practically a necessity if I wanted to move around the city anywhere near as quickly or efficiently as I can here at home; the traffic is something I always forget about and I’m always grateful to come back home to be rid of it.
15 minutes or less
With no traffic comes a simple, yet absolutely enormous, benefit – you can be anywhere around this city in 15 minutes (or less). Heading to work in the morning? No worries – it’ll be fifteen minutes away. If you’re like me, part-way through your evening you may realize you haven’t made a plan for dinner. No worries – it’ll only take me a moment to run to the supermarket or store, get an entire set of ingredients for a meal, and be back with your entire evening still intact. Perhaps you’re wrapped up in a project and are missing an important piece; not a problem, simply pop out, grab the piece, and continue before your motivation lapses. Of course, the downside to this benefit is that you could end up doing multiple Home Depot runs, but that’s beside the point.
No traffic doesn’t just mean you can get to urban amenities quickly and easily; it also means you can escape to the wilderness quickly as well. On a whim and in any direction you can be completely out of town in 15 minutes, taking off to do…well, anything. The abundance of accessible outdoor activities is ludicrous in the Prince George area, and is right at your fingertips. Hiking, camping, skiing, fishing, rock-climbing, mountain biking…it’s all within a short distance. And for many of those activities, you don’t even need to go out of town. Places like the Pidherny Recreation Site, an enormously popular area for year-round mountain biking and hiking, is nestled within the city limits near the Nechako River. Forests for the World, another popular nature park on top of Cranbook Hill where you can hike, fish, and relax, overlooks the city while remaining secluded and peaceful, all within that 15 minute range. I would be crazy not to mention the world-class facility of Caledonia Nordic Ski Club, when in 15 minutes you can be skiing or snowshoeing in the wilderness with your family, friends, and pets during the winter and biking, hiking, and running with those same people in the summer.
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This accessibility and ease to get to these things is a small part of what makes Prince George a special place to live for me. I love being able to whip out and get things, to visit my family and friends easily and frequently, and be active and engaged in so many different ways.
Of course, it’s not just a lack of traffic that makes this possible, but it’s pretty awesome to come to this brief conclusion —
I don’t have to think about traffic at all.
About the Author: Adam is practically born and raised in Prince George, although his adventures have taken him across North America and the world. Adam currently works in film and television, enjoying his active life with his fiancé Ang and energetic pooch Tundra.