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Science Confirms The Thanksgiving Traffic In Los Angeles Will Be The Worst

Photo by Eric Demarcq via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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We all were dreading it and now it's been confirmed: the traffic in Los Angeles on the day before Thanksgiving is going to be GODAWFUL.

A study released by INRIX, a traffic data technology firm, says that trips in the Los Angeles-area will take 36% longer than average on that Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. That also makes it 10% worse than the national average as far as Thanksgiving travel goes, with Portland, San Francisco and Seattle not too far behind. The worst of it will hit between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. that afternoon, so the report recommends heading out of town before 2 p.m. or after 6 p.m.—or better yet, leave Thursday morning. For those flying out of town, INRIX's report says the worst congestion on the 110 freeway from downtown to LAX will actually be in the morning, between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.

"Los Angeles is simply the worst place to be on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving," said traffic analyst Jim Back to the LA Times, echoing the sentiment we've all unfortunately felt at one point in our lives.

"If accidents or a major storm hit, all bets are off," he added. Ugh. Cross your fingers!

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INRIX's report also projected what the Black Friday traffic would be like, and found that trips to the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance will take a whopping 71% longer than the usual Friday. The worst congestion will hit between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., right when we're all waking up from our tryptophan-induced comas.

However Bak says that there's a silver lining to all this traffic: more people traveling means gas prices are lower and the economy is growing as more people are getting back to work.

So this Wednesday afternoon when you have to scream your head off at that guy that just cut you off in the Sepulveda Pass, you can take comfort in knowing that it's a sign that things are better for all of us as a whole. Happy Holidays!

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