Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Driving Blind

If you live and drive in Los Angeles, you're no stranger to the seemingly neverending rush hour traffic that has taken hold of our freeways. Unless you can be off the roads by 6:30am, and back on by about 8:30 pm, you'll run into jams during at least a portion of your route.

I've been in my car at 11:30 am, running what I think is a quick errand - instead, I found myself crawling along the freeway at 10 miles per hour. A twenty minute trip becomes a forty-five minute trip. This madness quite often extends to major thoroughfares. There's no avoiding it; there's no real effort among our politicos to address the problem. The mayor recently proposed an extension of one of the Metrorail subway lines all the way to the ocean. If the funding's found, it wouldn't be complete until nearly 2020. It's an expensive partial solution to a huge and growing problem. By the time that line is complete, the rest of the city will be in near gridlock.

During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, there was a widespread effort to encourage businesses to stagger work hours so that the freeways wouldn't be overburdened with rush hour and Olympic event traffic. It worked - the freeways didn't get overwhlemed - in fact, they were better than normal.

As I sit in my car, listening to my old recordings of Jean Shepherd on my IPOD, I wonder why true vision is missing among the leaders of Los Angeles. In time, their negligence will drive people away from L.A. in droves.


Jones said...

Wait, are you writing this while in your car?

Rich Samuels said...

No, but I wouldn't surprised if others do it!

Suz said...

I hate that LA has so many freeways for me to speed down... and no room for me to actually do it.