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12 Of The 50 Worst Traffic Bottlenecks In The Country Are In SoCal

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The #4 worst bottleneck in Southern California: the 405 between Venice Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard. (Photo by Eric Demarcq via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Los Angeles fell short of taking the top spot, but that's OK. The worst traffic bottleneck in the county belongs to our friends over in Chicago—but Southern Californians can still lay claim to the second through seventh worst bottlenecks in the country.A study released Monday by the American Highway Users Alliance (AHUA) ranked the 50 worst bottlenecks in the U.S., and you won't be surprised to learn that SoCal dominates the list, with 12 of the worst stretches of highway.

"Our nation's top bottlenecks bring passenger and freight traffic to a crawl on key Interstate
and freeway facilities every day, across the country, and negatively affect U.S. economic
competitiveness, the environment, and quality of life," says the AHUA in the study. "For drivers of personal and commercial vehicles in affected regions these bottlenecks are very real and the impacts of constant and crushing delays have significant implications on their productivity and health."

Here are the 12 stretches of jammed highways (along with the ranking on the list) that we Southern Californians are probably all too familiar with. Read it at your own risk, lest you want to trigger some anxiety:

  • #2: The 405 freeway, between the 22 and 605 freeways in Seal Beach
  • #3: The 10 freeway between Santa Fe Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard
  • #4: The 405 freeway between Venice Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard
  • #5: The 101 freeway between Franklin Avenue and Glendale Boulevard
  • #6: The 110 freeway between Stadium Way and Exposition Boulevard
  • #7: The 101 freeway between Sepulveda Boulevard and Laurel Canyon Boulevard
  • #11: The 5 and 110 freeway interchange between the North Mission Road and the 101 freeway
  • #13: The 10 freeway between La Brea Avenue and National Boulevard
  • #14: The 5 freeway between South Eastern Avenue and Euclid Avenue
  • #29: The 405 freeway between Burbank Boulevard and Ventura Boulevard
  • #30: The 101 freeway between the 110 freeway and Alameda Street
  • #40 The 10 freeway between the 5 freeway and 101 freeway

The study was compiled using speed data. The AHUA is a nonprofit that lobbies for more investment into the interstate highway system.
While putting more money into our freeways seems like a logical solution to our traffic, studies show that it really doesn't make much of a difference. Caltrans recently acknowledged that expanding freeways doesn't do anything except encourage more people to take the freeway, negating any of the benefits from expansion. See: the 405.

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The Expo Line hasn't done much to ease traffic either, but that's OK, too. It's a pretty good alternative—especially if you want to avoid the #3 and #13 worst bottlenecks in the country.