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Avoiding Life Because of Traffic

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Today, Susan Doyle's weekly transportation column in the Daily News looks into how lengthy commutes fatigue Angelenos, forcing them to stay home on the weekends and time leisurely trips around traffic. She also pulls out the "geographically undesirable" phrase when it comes to dating:

Whether behind the wheel or sitting on a bus, Los Angeles commuters spend about 93 hours a year stuck in traffic. And those like Hicklin often end up feeling so wiped out by the gridlock, they're becoming increasingly inclined to stick - whenever they can - to their own little neighborhoods on weekends. "I think a lot of us have gotten used to not doing things," said Ted Balaker, policy analyst for the Reason Foundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit. "It makes this city less of a grand metropolis and more into isolated hamlets."


Many don't even realize what they're giving up in life because they're trying to avoid traffic, said Balaker, author of a report released last month that assesses the impact of mobility on personal lives.


Fallout from traffic can even spill over into the dating world, where potential mates are simply wiped out of consideration because they are "geographically undesirable" - in other words, too far to drive to bother with the relationship.

But as congestion grows, people ultimately are becoming less spontaneous and less adventurous.

However, we should state there's nothing wrong spending your weekends in your jammies playing Guitar Hero all day. Or as the Doyle points out, "staying closer to home is not all bad. Some have found a certain small-town charm in a Los Angeles where residents are creating their own little enclaves."

Take a walk, ride a bike, explore your neighborhood.

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Photo by The Infamous Gdub via Flickr