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Traffic Talk: Learn the routes

Don Gammill: Familiarity with main streets, highways can make travel to most anywhere an easier journey
By DON GAMMILL dgammill@opubco.com Published: August 5, 2013
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Years before I moved to the metro area, I was told it was easy to get around Oklahoma City if you just learn the main roads running north and south, or east and west because the city is mostly squared that way.

If you know the major routes, you can get most anywhere you want to go, my friends and family told me.

Actually, that's true in just about any large city, particularly, for me, those that run true to the compass points.

Using my advisers' suggestions, I learned 10 major streets and highways. Soon, I was able to find my way throughout the metro with little or no problem.

Back then, a four-lane roadway was about as big as it got. Most roads were two-lane. But it wasn't long that I started noticing widening projects on popular roadways throughout the city.

Growth brings needs and the increase in traffic certainly was one of them.

My stepdad would grin when I mentioned traveling up and down the Broadway Extension between Oklahoma City and Edmond while I was in college and tell me about using that same route when he was my age ... and when it was a DIRT road.

That was during World War II when he was in the Army and would hitchhike between Fort Sill and Ponca City, coming through Oklahoma City. And that was well before the construction of the interstate system.

Like my becoming familiar with Oklahoma City by learning a few roads, he had learned to travel through Oklahoma by knowing only a couple of highways. Two of the most popular, of course, were Route 66, the famed Mother Road, and U.S. 60.

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