Senator Boxer: Solving LA's Traffic Woes
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
A recently released study shows that residents of Los Angeles experience the worst traffic in the nation. The only surprising fact from this study is that the average resident spends only 72 extra hours stuck in rush-hour traffic. For most, the delays seem much longer.
The study, released by the Texas Transportation Institute, reviewed nationwide transportation data from 2005. On a national basis, traffic congestion results in a total of 4.2 billion stuck in traffic, roughly equal to 105 million weeks of vacation, and the use of an additional 2.9 billion gallons of fuel at a cost of $78 billion.
This study of urban mobility also concludes that there is no one magic solution to America’s congestion problems. However, as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, I am working every day to find solutions to our nation’s transportation woes.
One of the ways to help ease Los Angeles’ traffic congestion is to make alternatives to single car travel more feasible. To do so, people need to be able to get to work, school, and home easily and quickly, without ever starting their cars. And progress is being made in Los Angeles.
Every year, more public transit lines are either operating or under construction in Los Angeles, which means that more residents of Los Angeles will have the option of using public transit. The Gold Line East Side Extension will bring service to East Los Angeles. I secured a federal appropriation of $70 million in the Senate funding bill to help this construction effort. The Expo Line construction that is now underway will extend service from USC and the Crenshaw area to Culver City. And in the long term, I am very excited that it may be possible to extend the Red Line from Union Station, along Wilshire Boulevard, all the way to the ocean. Think of the cars that will be taken off the freeways when all of these projects are complete.
Public transit projects are just one solution to Los Angeles’s and our nation’s traffic congestion problems. One of my top priorities is to keep finding solutions and keep pursuing ways to get all Americans to work and home to their families as quickly, efficiently and cheaply as possible.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer