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Car Culture

LA, the Most Congested City in America, Holds the Key to Less Crowded Highways

2_25_09_congestion_map.jpgINRIX, a company that provides technology to help municipalities do better traffic planning, has completed its yearly ranking of America's most congested cities and found, for the second year in a row, that Los Angeles has the highest level of automobile congestion in the country.

On top of holding this ignominious mark for the second year in a row, L.A. isn't home to the worst highway in the country, that award goes to the Cross Bronx Express.  However, 13 of the 50 worst 50 bottlenecks in the country are on the L.A. Metro area including the interchange between Vermont Ave. and the 101 Southbound which was the 7th worst in the country and 2nd worst in California.

2_25_09_congestion_graph.jpg

A deeper look at the numbers shows news that isn't all bad.  The chart on the left shows that congestion was significantly reduced during the summer in relation to the rest of the year.  You may remember that last summer gas prices were at an all-time high and many car commuters were abandoning their vehicles for car-pooling, transit, biking, walking or even working from home. This summer dip lead to an overall dip in the amount of time driver's, and bus riders, spent sitting in congestion.

In other words, we may have the country's worst car congestion, but we also have the solution.  It's so obvious, yet we never hear it actually said by politicians.

If people want a city with less congested streets and highways, there's a DIY solution starting you in the face: drive your car less.

For a full copy of the INRIX report, click here.  For a copy of their fact sheet for Los Angeles, click here.

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