Be Proud California: We have 11 of nations 16 Worst Traffic Bottlenecks

California has the worst roads in the nation, the deadliest roads in the nation and proudly we can claim that eleven of the sixteen worst traffic bottlenecks in the nation are in the former Golden State. Add high taxes, failed schools, illegal aliens protected bylaw enforcement, and we know why Texas is doing so well.

Now we have an analysis—all we have to do is spend tens of billions on government transportation (it is NOT “public” transportation—it is owned and controlled by the government/union cabal), force people to spend added hours getting to work and back and then spend billions subsiding the money losing systems.

“Thus, many commuters frustrated by Bottleneck #7, the Ventura Freeway in the San Fernando Valley portion of Los Angeles, could be riding the Metro Orange Line nearby instead, but don’t.

The same for drivers tied up on I-110 near downtown Los Angeles, who could be on the Metro Gold or Blue lines. Or plenty of drivers on that often-congested stretch of skyway in San Francisco, many of whom could ride BART.

One lesson here, then, is that mass transit doesn’t solve all congestion. Just look at the I-10 between downtown Los Angeles and the city’s Westside, where commuters sit and wait while trains zip unmolested along the almost parallel, mostly completed Metro Expo Line.

Remember the BART strike—want the unions to control Southern California drivers, jobs and businesses? This is a recipe for economic extortion and hostage taking.

LA-Freeway-Xchange-110-105

Bottleneck Report: Transit Only a Partial Fix

Tom Elias, Santa Monica Mirror, 1/16/16

Many of America’s worst traffic bottlenecks are holding up commuters for hours each week even where there’s plenty of mass transit nearby.

That’s the upshot of a new report titled “Unclogging America’s Arteries,” which offers a few nostrums that don’t really figure to solve the problem anytime soon.

The most prominent conclusion of the study is that 11 of the nation’s 16 worst bottlenecks are in California, the vast majority in Los Angeles and Orange counties. That won’t surprise commuters accustomed to putting up with parking-lot scenes on I-405, U.S. 101, I-110 and I-10 in L.A., but it might surprise San Francisco drivers to learn that the 1.9-mile stretch of I-80 approaching the Bay Bridge from the south and west wastes more time for more people than all but 11 others nationwide.

It may be more surprising to learn that crowding and delays on I-405 in Orange County are far worse than in New York’s Lincoln Tunnel, costing drivers and their passengers 7.1 million hours of waiting time yearly, more than double what Manhattan and New Jersey folk spend hung up in the always-jammed tunnel system under the Hudson River.

Similarly, it will probably stun the tens of thousands who commute daily on Houston’s Katy Freeway, I-10’s Texas iteration, to learn they’re not even in the top 50 when it comes to wasting time. That almost has to be an error of omission.

One remarkable thing about all this is that more than a dozen routes listed among the nation’s most crowded (a stretch of Chicago’s I-90 ranks No. 1) run near and parallel to mass transit. Theoretically, then, it’s possible to bypass the frustrating waits by riding trains or busways.

Thus, many commuters frustrated by Bottleneck #7, the Ventura Freeway in the San Fernando Valley portion of Los Angeles, could be riding the Metro Orange Line nearby instead, but don’t.

The same for drivers tied up on I-110 near downtown Los Angeles, who could be on the Metro Gold or Blue lines. Or plenty of drivers on that often-congested stretch of skyway in San Francisco, many of whom could ride BART.

One lesson here, then, is that mass transit doesn’t solve all congestion. Just look at the I-10 between downtown Los Angeles and the city’s Westside, where commuters sit and wait while trains zip unmolested along the almost parallel, mostly completed Metro Expo Line.

Altogether, California drivers last year wasted more than 47 million waking hours waiting in traffic along the state’s 15 most congested routes.

The federal planners who put out the new report appear to have few viable ideas for getting stalled traffic moving. They call for “cost-effective, high-impact” investments to improve traffic, but quickly add that “There is no silver bullet for addressing it.”

Among their low-cost suggestions are expansion of the 511 telephone traveler information system, and offering advisories that suggest alternate routes via radio stations and message signs. All those techniques already exist on many of the super-crowded California stretches, but they have not gotten traffic moving.

The planners also suggest using smartphone apps like Waze that let drivers reroute around the worst jams. Those apps have been known to infuriate residents in once-quiet neighborhoods that now see heavy traffic sent their way by the robotic voices of modern cellphones.

More managed lanes, like the toll lanes already used on some of California’s (former) freeways are another recommendation.

But the bottom line solution appears to be both simpler and more complex than anything traffic authorities and their planners can do: To move faster, drivers will have to start leaving their cars behind in mass transit parking lots and letting train operators do the driving.

As long as the vast majority of motorists are unwilling to do that, bottlenecks will be the rule, not the exception in the most populous, most congested parts of California.

 

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. First the State of California under Democrat control has repeatedly ignored highway and freeway repair and maintenance for alternative transportation that has failed. (Orange County rail hub comes to mind)

    Second the Democrats with too many Republicans have ignored creation of vital links and gutting Caltrans which has now become a mouth piece for “alternative” transporation. Does high speed rail Billions stupidity come to mind when the State says it does not have the money for new routes?

    The environmental left is willing to take your rights of choice in transportation, destroy existing working routes, and if by no other means create laws to force you out of private owed and operated autos.

    Unable to do that will spell the destruction of the Utopian plan to go back to the past of the 1800’s tenement living without green space unless it is a park owned and operated by government.

    How about them apples.

    The author is right about drivers ignoring mass transit. 2015 saw a DROP in per miles driven / traveled on the MTA bus / rail system. Yet Garcetti continues to plan to destroy main arterials like Wilshire Blvd. by taking away lanes for bikes.

    Forrest Gump was right.

    • Statewide, worst public transportation system I’ve ever encountered of any major destinations especially the Bay Area. Then visitor and your citizens have to maneuver all the little money grabbing speed traps of red light cameras aimed at people visiting the area, and your own pathetic citizens who are clueless that you target them with these tickets as if their lives weren’t already difficult enought just living. Hysterical!

  2. Cab, Too bad this column doesn’t allow us to “like” some one or thing. You sure nailed it. You deserve multiple “likes”

  3. Of course public transportation systems like BART are over maximum capacity during rush hours as it is. Try and get on BART at Embarcadero station at 5pm… or even into the station! Bart also doesn’t have enough parking at its outlying stations for the people who would use it if they could. Oh well, at least my kids will be able to take the High Speed train to San Francisco… at more than twice the cost of flying.

  4. Didn’t someone of note once say:
    “If we don’t build it, they won’t come”?
    How did that work out Jerry?
    ….crickets…..

  5. The more we invest in Mass Transit, the fewer the numbers of people riding it.
    The People have spoken with their feet, so to speak.

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  1. […] Angeles drivers spend up to 81 hours each year sitting in traffic, and as a state, California has plenty of gridlock to go around. Consequently, state officials are trying to make the best of a bad situation and turn […]

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