Yes, traffic in the Los Angeles area is bad, no doubt. But I actually expected it to be much worse, considering how much Angelenos complain about it. In reality, traffic here is not much worse than in other large metropolitan areas, such as Washington, D.C. (that I know all too well), New York, or Chicago. In fact, it is the D.C. Metro Area that holds the title of worse traffic in the nation, not Los Angeles.
Last year the LA Times reported 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.” Commuters in the Washington D.C. metro area, on the other hand, can spend 45 minutes to 2 hours to get to work. And the I-495 (or Capital Beltway) can be quite intimidating during rush hour. I didn’t have to drive on the Beltway to get to work but it would still take me 45 minutes to 1 hour to drive a distance that could be covered in 25 minutes in good traffic.
So, why do Angelenos complain so much about traffic?
My guess is that when people live in a beautiful place, surrounded by beautiful mountains, the ocean, exquisite vegetation and near perfect weather, all that’s left to complain about is traffic!