Fun fact: "About 45% of all [traffic] delay statewide is experienced in Los Angeles County, and bottlenecks account for a significant portion of it," according to the head of Caltrans's office of performance. Certainly feels that way, doesn't it? Those bottlenecks are the hellmouths where the traffic is worse than normal and, using Caltrans's "mobility performance reports," which look at traffic congestion in order to help prioritize certain road projects, the LA Times finds that four of the most jammed-up sections of freeway in California are in Los Angeles County. That's a lot of delay, and a lot of frustrated people behind the wheel. Coming in at number one biggest time-waster is the 5 Freeway between the 710 and the 605, which probably isn't a huge surprise to anyone who regularly travels that section of the road.
The second worst bottleneck is in Orange County, on the northbound 405 through Costa Mesa and Fountain Valley. The rest are spread evenly throughout LA: third was the southbound 170 through North Hollywood; fourth, a section of the southbound 101 west of where it meets the 405. Rounding out the top five was the eastbound 60 Freeway in and around Montebello.
Sad that your commute isn't officially terrible? Don't worry: the rankings change every year, and Caltrans predicts that an eight-mile stretch of the southbound 405 through West LA will probably come from behind to unseat the 5 Freeway in six months, when the next numbers come out, despite a new carpool lane.
As previously noted, these terrible figures are used to inform decisions about construction and roadway projects, and by 2025 the state does plan to put carpool lanes through the number-one-worst section of the 5 Freeway. Officials are also planning to add one regular lane and an additional carpool lane to the now-horrendous 405 segment, but that doesn't really offer any alternatives to taking that one freeway, and the soonest that would be done is 2021. (Also, is that really going to fix anything or just make commutes a minute slower?) "You have no choice but to take the 405," explains one commuter, who drives a 2009 Porsche 911 to work. "I go about 20 miles each way. It takes me just shy of an hour to get home. My car isn't made to go that slow." Doesn't sound like things are going to get much better very soon, so maybe now's a good time to think about trading the old 911 in?
· State's 5 worst bottlenecks are in L.A., Orange counties [LAT]
· 405 Commutes Now a Minute Worse Than Before Carpool Lane [Curbed LA]