Why LA Traffic Is So Bad and How More Highways Don't Mean Less Traffic

Is it just a result of LA being the second largest city in the US or is something else going on?
Loukia Papadopoulos

Did you know that numerous studies have identified Los Angeles as either having the worst traffic in the U.S. or amongst the worst? This begs the question: how did Los Angeles traffic get so bad? Was it inevitable as Los Angeles grew into the second-largest city in the U.S.?

To answer these questions the video takes us back to 1940 when Los Angeles was already thriving. The region's population actually tripled between 1920 and 1940 during the transition from the streetcar to the automobile.

As a matter of fact, Los Angeles had the biggest streetcar network of any city during that period. But as the city moved toward the use of automobiles, city planners had to adapt and create new ways of getting from one region of Los Angeles to another.

This is when the city saw the introduction of highways which were originally built to cut down travel time. In the 1940s, the state of California began to raise funds to finance freeway constructions in what led to many of today's freeways.

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Unfortunately, with traffic now being so high, these concrete roads don't necessarily make for a faster commute. Watch the video to find out more about Los Angeles' freeways and the traffic that plagues them in today's age.

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