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Survey: L.A. gridlock not so bad compared with Paris, Madrid, NYC

September 8, 2011 |  2:19 pm

Traffic on the 405 in Westminster 2009. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times Angelenos don’t need a survey to tell them being stuck in traffic is no fun, but a new report from IBM may give the region’s motorists a little solace because they now have proof that commuting in Los Angeles at least isn’t as bad as commuting in Mexico City; Beijing; Nairobi, Kenya; Moscow; or New Delhi.

“Frustration Rising: IBM 2011 Commuter Pain Survey” was released Thursday and uses interviews from about 8,000 people to build a commuter pain index made up of factors such as commuting time and “driving causes anger” to rank 20 of the world’s largest 65 cities.

L.A. ranked 12th, slightly ahead of Paris, Madrid and New York City. Montreal had the least pain index, according to the survey, while Mexico City had the worst.

“When you talk of commuter pain and congestion, the city that immediately jumps to mind is L.A., New York or D.C. in terms of congestion or delay. It’s interesting to see that when you compare these cities with other cities around the world, it really isn’t all that bad,” said Naveen Lamba, the leader of IBM’s Intelligent Transportation practice. He added that the report, which is in its fourth year, helps bring attention to using technology to help relieve congestion.

“The thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way, there are a number of technology-based solutions that can certainly make a lot of difference in terms of the commutes,” Lamba said. “One obvious thing that comes to mind is that we can build more rail and more roads and so on, but those are expensive propositions.”


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Photo: Traffic on the 405 Freeway in Westminster in 2009. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times