In the last few years I have seen a lot in the increase of traffic in the area and also in Northeast Pennsylvania since the discovery of natural gas. More and more people are traveling from other parts of the country to live here for ten years or more in order to work for the natural gas industry. Due to the economy, people are out of work and looking for any job out there. And it seems that the natural gas industry has become a booming industry. In the area where I live, I have seen an influx of people arriving to live and work for the individual gas companies that are in the area. I have also seen an influx of traffic that was not here many years ago.
When I first moved up here almost ten years ago after getting married, you did not see many people at all on the roads. This is a rural area and you were lucky to see twenty cars on a good day. Today, there are traffic jams, traffic back ups, and more accidents than before. Normally, it would take ten, fifteen minutes to get into town from other areas but now it may take upwards of twenty to thirty minutes to get into town. This is mainly due to the huge over sized trucks filled to capacity with gas well supplies and much more heading to areas where there are wells. Huge trucks filled with well materials and supplies have clogged roadways as they move along to destinations unknown. Traffic has multiplied to the point that there are many more accidents and the volunteers who staff the local fire departments have gotten a lot more calls. As a result of these accidents, the volunteer fire departments have did their best to get to these accidents in the time allotted. Sometimes, with these trucks in the way, they are are often delayed, which of course causes problems.
Some days, you do not see that many trucks on the road and life is good. Other times, you see so many that you wonder where they are going and how these roads can support them all. Some of the gas companies have made deals with the local boroughs and townships to keep the roads up and in pretty good shape. Of course, there are many people who are opposed to the gas industry moving into these area due to the problems that have cropped up in other cities and other states over the years. It seems the gas companies are doing all they can to minimize any problems that can occur.
We have had an increase in traffic since the arrival of the gas industry and many people are coping the best way that they know how. Mainly being patient is one of the mainstays nowadays. With more traffic, people tend to get impatient and angry. They often are wondering what is going on. Traffic tie ups have become the norm these days. You see these huge trucks coming along and you are often having to stop so they can turn, pass, or do whatever they can to get where they are going. If it is the trucks with these huge well supplies, then you know you are in for a wait. These trucks take up the whole road and need a lot of room in order to turn, often having to have the electric lines moved in order for them to be able to turn. This is just the beginning because the main part has yet to begin in most areas. They have yet to do the fracking and so forth in order to get to the natural gas that they need to get. In the coming weeks and months we shall see more trucks coming to the area, more people working for them, and all doing what they are trained to do in order to get to the gas. There is some good stuff coming out of this though. There are more jobs out there now and also more new places are opening up in order to accommodate. More hotels and more restaurants are arriving in order to cater to those who need to have a place to stay and eat. So, despite all the traffic and so forth, this area has seen a boom like no other.