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Study says L.A. area traffic no longer the worst in the nation. Do you agree?

Talk back LAA new study of traffic in major cities says Los Angeles isn't king of congestion, reporter Dan Weikel notes in Friday's paper.

The annual Urban Mobility Report from the Texas Transportation Institute says Chicago and Washington, D.C., surpass the Los Angeles area in the amount of time that individual motorists were stuck in traffic during peak travel periods.

To the unscientific observer –- those of us sitting in traffic on the 10, 101, 405, 5 and just about any other freeway –- it sure seems like we spend an awful lot of time staring at brake lights.

Researchers found that the typical motorist in Chicago and D.C. experienced 70 hours of annual delays on average, compared with 63 hours wasted in the Los Angeles area. Any D.C. or Chicago natives want to weigh in? And for the locals, is traffic improving in L.A.? Do you agree with the survey? Give us your thoughts below.

-- Kimi Yoshino

Photo: Traffic jams on the 405 Freeway are a familiar sight. Credit: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (25)

I do not agree.

I am so sick of Los Angeles traffic, that it is the number one reason that I am leaving this unlivable city in August for a more humane (but still large) city, one with public transport, cycling initiatives, and progressive, uncorrupted politicians.

Guess it depends if you live here or in Chicago or Wa.D.C.!

Ah, no. Try driving in and out of Newport Beach for work daily. Two hours out to LA. Come on....

If traffic is improving, it's probably just because we have more people unemployed/out-of-work, than DC or Chicaog, and thus less cars on the roadways as a result. I don't think freeways or public transit is any better in the last five years.

I agree, with hesitation.

Traffic is not as bad as it used to be. I do feel the traffic let up more when school is out. There are no college students commuting to school, also no parents dropping kids off at their respective schools. There is also a feeling of traffic being effected by the job market. Lots of people are out of work, therefore the commute is lighter that previously.

I agree, with hesitation.

Traffic is not as bad as it used to be. I do feel the traffic let up more when school is out. There are no college students commuting to school, also no parents dropping kids off at their respective schools. There is also a feeling of traffic being effected by the job market. Lots of people are out of work, therefore the commute is lighter that previously.

They had Austin with a metro population of 1.8 million as the third worst traffic. So that verifies that this is a bogus study. As most are...

One thing I do know is the 405 FWY just before the 22 FWY is a complete mess and it didn't use to be. There is a sign saying the Federal Stimulous will be paying for the enhancement, but for MONTHS one lane is now off limits behind concrete barriers and I have NEVER EVER EVER seen anyone working on the FWY. A lane was taken away making traffic a mess, and for no reason. Either work on enhancement or take the barriers away so traffic can flow.

Were to busy dodging potholes in our roads! The 60 freeway looks like the highways in Iraq. Sacramento can't even fix our roads, how they going to fix the budget!

SLJ, if you are driving from newport to LA every day, you deserve to be in traffic for two hours!

KJ, mass transit has improved over the last five years. new gold line extension opened up as did the orange line. maybe our network of rail lines is helping...

I agree. Then again, I never thought traffic in L.A. was as bad as it's made out to be. I'm a Bay Area (San Jose / San Francisco) transplant, and I've always thought that traffic in the Bay Area is worse than in the L.A. area. I've also visited the Chicago area for an extended time and rented a car, and I thought the traffic there was really bad. In any large metropolitan area there is going to be traffic, and, at times, bad traffic. I think the traffic in L.A. gets a bum rap sometimes.

Traffic is crazy in LA...I thought the Georgia traffic was bad....with the crazy road rage and rush of things.....In LA everyone is always in a hurry....honking if you don't run the red light....don't move over when you are trying to get on the interstate off the ramp...

Is this adjusted for weather? Because a week's worth of snowfall can easily add an hour per day to the commute back East. More, if the snowplows aren't going out.

Well, at least that's a relief. It took me to travel from Playa Vista to Woodland Hills for around an hour for a private screening. Now it would be helpful to know the list of the worst traffic around the world yet to be seen.

I've lived in L.A. and now in Houston, TX. Houston is worse

I work for LA Co. and travel countwide. I feel like the traffic is the worse, and the drivers are crazy. Wish I could relocate to another part of CA>.......

Former DC Resident here and I must say, this study is correct. While traffic is rough here in LA, I've found that the delays are spread out over longer distances. Here I drive from Long Beach to Northridge several times a week and without traffic it takes about an hour, with traffic it takes between an hour and 2 hours. Now imagine everyday taking an hour to go from Long Beach to Seal Beach and when the traffic is bad it taking 2 to 3 hours. That's DC

YES, but...Another just released study says Los Angeles is now the RUDEST city in America. I politely disagree.

Probably because we have the highest unemployment in the country. Duh.

I wouldn't bet that it's better. Try the 110 freeway any time after 3:pm in either direction, Its a frigging parking lot! Any the mayor wants to make it worse by bringing in a stadium! Be prepared to pack enough food and water for days on the freeway kiddies!

In the movie, "Clueless," there's a line that reads: 'In L.A., everything is 20 minutes away.' That's true, if you are on the road at 4 a.m. Just the other day, it took me four hours to drive to Beverly Hills from outside of L.A. County, and that was at 8 a.m. And another six hours to leave L.A. driving at 3:30 p.m. Yes, traffic in L.A. is by far the worst although I have not driven in Beijing, China these days....

Having lived there for 15 years, I can attest that Chicago is horrendous. LA is at least built for driving.

I currently live in DC and traffic is HORRIBLE!

My morning commute to school (which is 4 miles) takes me about 30 minutes. Even if I take the back roads in I get stuck in traffic or stopped at a school crossing and I have to stop every block for a stop sign. The traffic continues to get worse it seems. And this past winter with the "Snowpocalypse" conditions were 10,000 times worse. Taxi's were charging 150% the normal rate. No one could drive. And I was snowed in my rowhouse for 3 weeks before my street was even cleared. Even then, I had to dig my car out.

LA traffic is bad but sometimes I feel like it doesn't get any worse than DC traffic. This whole "Go Green" campaign may want to offer ideas for better roadways or anything to help improve traffic in heavily traveled cities and roads.

As a DC native, I can attest to the horrendous traffic both here and in D.C. The biggest difference that I see is at least in L.A. you have several other options to get across town, including many surface street and several cross county freeways/highways. In D.C., you've basically got one way around the entire city and it's the same way that you get between two states (MD and VA). Cutting through D.C., if you live in a northern MD suburb to get to a southern MD suburb or parts of northern VA is useless. You might as well sit on the beltway for the 1 to 1 1/2 hour commute. That is, if it's 5am. Anytime during rush hour and the time can double. D.C. is definitely worse than L.A. At least in L.A. half of the population doesn't go anywhere before 10am :)

Does LA have a traffic problem or lack of reasonable alternatives next to high density? Think about it. The reason the "layperson" doesn't think about traffic in DC, Chicago, New York, San Francisco is because alternatives exist; and stations located in areas of high density. LA doesn't have an extensive yet..but we're getting there with Measure R.


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