Ah, Memorial Day weekend. The barbecue, the beach, the summer dresses. But there’s one perennial treat that we wait for every year with bated breath: the endless stream of stories about traffic and gas prices. Like a groundhog announcing the arrival of spring, this story is a staple of early summer. Here’s the Baltimore Sun: “Gasoline prices in the region are at near-record levels. Hotel rates are up 13 percent since last year. The roads, bridges and tunnels are going to be crawling with police. And more Marylanders will be on the road this Memorial Day weekend than ever before.”
The same sentence can be found in a plethora of papers today:
Here’s Newsday: “As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, the unofficial start to the summer vacation season finds most things on the up and up, but that’s not entirely good news for travelers. A day before the holiday is set to begin tomorrow, gas prices are up.”
And here’s the Boston Herald: “As Memorial Day approaches, annual pilgrims to Cape Cod can anticipate trading at least 20 minutes of traffic headaches for 20 minutes of relaxation.”
You get the picture. We could go on and on.
Look, there’s no doubt that Memorial Day brings traffic and a reminder of high gas prices. But it does that every year. Journalists are probably itching to get out of their offices, but would it hurt to find at least one new angle on this tired story?