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Stop complaining -- L.A. traffic isn’t so bad; do you agree?

September 22, 2011 |  8:47 am

Traffic in Los Angeles ranks 17th in nation

Traffic jams in Los Angeles are practically legendary, but a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that commutes in L.A. aren't as bad as we think.

Talk back LAThat may be bad news for people using traffic as an excuse for tardiness, but good news for the thousands of commuters traveling on Southland freeways.

The Times reported Thursday that it took commuters in the L.A.-Long Beach-Santa Ana area an average of 28.1 minutes to get to work in 2010, ranking 17th nationally, according to data released Thursday from the American Community Survey's latest one-year estimate.

And at the top of the list were areas with robust public transit systems. New York-northern New Jersey-Long Island, where it takes drivers an average of 34.6 minutes, ranked first. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, which clocked in at 30.7 minutes, ranked fourth. The national average was 25.3.

"We have a lot of congestion in L.A. ... but it doesn't mean that the average person is spending hours and hours in congestion," said Brian Taylor, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA.

Commute times in nearby Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario declined slightly every year since 2007, but the data show that residents still face longer commutes than in L.A., with a 2010 average of 30.6 minutes.

Tell us, commuters, are the census numbers accurate? How long does it take you to get to work? And is this traffic nightmare reputation in Los Angeles overblown? Click on the comment button to weigh in.

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-- Kimi Yoshino

Photo: It took commuters in the L.A.-Long Beach-Santa Ana area an average of 28.1 minutes to get to work in 2010. The national average was 25.3. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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