And the award for worst…

And the award for worst traffic jams in the country goes to …

The intersection of the 405 and the 101 in Los Angeles, which averages 318,000 cars a day! And some say it’s closer to 350,000 a day now.

I live near this beast. It can be bumper to bumper any time day or night for no apparent reason – and often is. We locals know quite a few devious shortcuts to route around the worst parts of this barely ambulatory parking lot, yet on a bad traffic day, even those twisty shortcuts through the canyons are a sea of brake lights. “Rush hour”, oh for those quaint times when it was really only an hour long,  lasts from 6-10 am and again from 3-7 pm – except for Fridays, when spans the entire day.

Los Angeles has four entries in the top nine worst bottlenecks, three of which include the godforsaken 405. Traffic here gets noticeably worse every month. Mass transit is slow, and given the huge size of L.A. County (which is bigger than Connecticut), not an option for getting someplace in a reasonable amount of time.

If anyone had an clue how to solve this, we’d be doing it, instead, we plan our days around what freeway traffic will be like. And wait for the day when everything gridlocks for keeps.

This number one traffic bottleneck is in a part of LA known as The Valley, an area subject to much rude joking from snobby types on the Westside who believe their traffic-choked surface streets are some kind of paradise. At least Valley surface streets aren’t continual parking lots. What’s more, the major Westside freeway intersection, the 405 and the 10, only ranks a puny fifth on the traffic jam survey.

We in the Valley mock and scoff their pathetic attempts at freeway congestion. We, not they, are the champions – the national champions!