This is really getting on my nerves. People keep saying things like, "The storm back in the 70's was much worse than this, blah blah blah." The thing that people don't seem to mention is the difference in transportation between then and now.
First off, consider the fact that there are many more people driving now than there were back then. The population density is much higher now, so there's a lot more cars on the roads.
Second, consider the vehicles. Today, automotive manufacturers are more concerned about keeping initial and operating costs down, so they make the cars as light and small as possible. Part of this is keeping the car low to the ground. Guess what that means... You can't clear the snow drifts on the roads very easily.
And third, there's the political aspect. State and local governments don't have the allocated funds to properly deal with the snow, so it just accumulates on the roads.
Merging these three ideas, you'll find that 5 inches of snow today is just as bad as 12 inches were back in the 70's. Therefore, people just need to drop this argument when they're debating the weather.