why is traffic so bad in los angeles

According to the fifth annual Traffic Index report released in March by GPS manufacturer TomTom, traffic in Los Angeles is literally. But the countyБs traffic woes were set in motion, so to speak, long before it would see the population boom of the 20th and 21st centuries. From 1895 to 1945, the Los Angeles Railway, or БYellow CarsБ as they were known,
as the cityБs main mode of transport. For a time, it was part of the largest urban rail network in the world, and the Yellow Cars were as Бthe vital cog in the cityБs transportation system. Б As time marched on, yellow cars would go the way of cable cars before them. Automobiles became the favored mode of transportation in the 1950s, and they might have had some help, too. According to a popular theory, automotive interests, led by General Motors, bought up a number of streetcar lines and converted them to bus routes. If this sounds familiar, it might be because this story also found its way into the plot of 1988Бs Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The automotive interests acted in the name of increasing sales, but todayБs studies suggest that a number of post-WWI economic factors would have caused street cars to become obsolete. L. A. Бs first freeway, the 8. 9 mile, six-lane Arroyo Seco ParkwayБlater known as the Pasadena FreewayБopened in 1940.


Many would follow, but not nearly as many as the city planners originally intended. Throughout the Б40s, Б50s, and Б60s, construction tore through L. A. Бs in the name of a 527-mile freeway system. Businesses and homeowners were evicted and displaced, and these freeways created a divide between homes that once belonged to the same neighborhood. Many more roads were, but these never came to fruition, and their absence can be seen in some of L. A. Бs most congested areas. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, construction halted. Some blame then (and current) while others blame the rising costs of building modern freeways. In certain cases, it was the successful protests of affluent communities that stopped development. L. A. Бs Eastside faced the worst of the construction, as its residents lacked the resources to fight back against those in power. (The east vs. west L. A. split is one that existed before freeways, and it. ) ThereБs now no more room in L. A. , and even if there were, studies show that expanding roads would actually create. On top of that, is expensive enough and takes years of construction. Of course, it also doesnБt help that L. A. is the б in the United States.


In recent years, the county has made concerted efforts to Бthose with options beyond busesБto take mass transit. You might be surprised to learn that, according to a, L. A. actually gives the carless more access to public transportation than any other major metropolitan area in the country. Yes, even New York City. Yet only 25% of choice riders take the bus. This lack of enthusiasm for the bus by those who can afford not to take it is just one more cause of the traffic jams youБve heard so much about. Los Angeles has its work cut out for it when it comes to reforming their roads and transit system, but they're trying to come up with new ideas. A few years ago, L. A. the 19th and 20th century streetcarsБthe same ones originally put to bed by automobiles. One person who would probably be a fan of this renaissance is Eddie Valiant, Bob HoskinsБs character from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? He tells a kid, БWho needs a car in L. A.? We have the best public transportation system in the world. Б "This validates what people are experiencing," said Herbie Huff, a research associate at the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies. Still, she added, "it's important to recognize that congestion is a sign of good things. " Although it's little comfort for those stuck behind the wheel, researchers have long said that heavier traffic is a sign of a healthier economy.


Typically, congestion levels dip during recessions because fewer people have jobs. When the economy roars back, so does traffic. Americans drove a record 3. 15 trillion miles last year, shattering the previous record of 3 trillion miles in 2007, according to federal estimates. The Greater L. A. area has four of the world's most-congested freeway segments: the southbound 101 Freeway between Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Vignes Street; the 5 Freeway between Highway 133 in Orange County and Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles; the 10 Freeway between the city of Santa Monica and Alameda Street; and the northbound 101 Freeway between the 60 Freeway and Haskell Avenue. The 101 southbound sees the worst delays of any freeway in Los Angeles. On Wednesdays at 8 a. m. , the most congested period, drivers move an average of 17 mph and spend 58 minutes longer in their cars than they would if traffic were free-flowing. Drivers on that section of the 101 spend 134 hours per year Б about 5 1/2 days Б waiting in traffic.

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