Los Angeles Traffic:Problems and Solutions

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Los Angeles ranks among the most traffic-clogged cities in the USA. One of the main reasons for congestion is the population of the city. It is the second largest city in the United States after New York City. The famous Hollywood signed city currently has more than 4 million people.

In 2020 LA ranked as the worst city in terms of traffic in the United States. Also, a study in 2017 stated that people in Los Angeles spend five days and $2600 sitting in traffic congestion. In 2021 Los Angeles was the sixth most congested city after New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, and Miami. Its reduced ranking is thanks to a large part of the circumstances of the pandemic. Los Angeles people spend 62 hours in traffic whereas the national average is 36.

Why Does Los Angeles Have So Much Traffic

Founded in 1781, Los Angeles was among the fastest-growing cities in the world in the 20th century. In 1900 Los Angeles was home to more than 100,000 people. Currently, over 4 million people live here. Experts say the city came in an age in the era of the automobile, so Los Angeles build more highways but didn’t build freeways for car drivers.
Some blame the automakers, who undermined mass public transport to keep  LA a more car-friendly city.

Freeway system which has been planned in 1950 but miserably failed. The project didn’t completed due to a shortage of funds, also local people protested against it. Some predicted there will be a huge environmental cost to building the Freeway system.     

Bisected by Mountains like many other US cities Los Angeles roads create the worst bottlenecks in the city. One example is the Sepulveda pass on the 405 freeway where traffic has to pass over to the hill to reach West LA, Santa Monica. People of LA are more vulnerable to traffic compared to Chicagoans and New yorkers because of fewer options.

New York transit 40% of the all transit in the USA, whereas Los Angeles transit count below 5%.Traffic congestion can be avoided in other parts of the country such as in New York, and San Fransisco by walking, or riding on public transport but LA  transport doesn’t provide such a system.   

Some planners opposed the widening of roads, the pointed to a concept of ‘Induced Demand’.Induced Demand means if you build it people will come. The idea of expanding freeways can temporarily reduce the traffic but eventually, highways become clogged again. After new roads are built more people encourage themselves to drive. Some data shows moving from three-lane to four-lane highway add up to 33% more traffic.  

Solution Of Los Angeles Traffic

Transit can resolve the Los Angeles traffic problems. Also if every essential commodity can be found near then people couldn’t intend to drive more cars.

Many economists suggested the government should start charging people for using the road which is termed congestion pricing. Congestion pricing is already started showing results in some countries like Sweden, Singapore, and Uk, etc. Drivers have to pay for driving in certain parts of the cities. Road authorities must charge a fee that discourages drivers to drive more, not a hefty amount.

Los Angeles currently has an old road system that was built decades ago when the city was less populated. Currently, the Los Angeles rail system is the busiest rail system in the USA, officials could think of more subway systems to fix the traffic issue.

Recently, Los Angeles has been chosen for the 2028 Summer Olympics. We hope that everything related to traffic must be solved by the officials as soon as possible.

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