It was recently determined that all our greatest fears have come true – LA has the worst traffic in the world. Yep, drivers in the LA region spent 104 hours driving in congestion during peak travel periods last year, reported by a traffic scorecard compiled by Inrix, a transportation analytics firm. Being stuck in traffic costs the average U.S. driver $1,400 last year and nearly $300 billion for all drivers nationwide, Inrix said. Ouch.
Luckily, the city and numerous other companies are cracking down to solve the LA traffic problem once and for all. Here are 5 projects to get excited about!
Elon Musk is “Boring”
Elon Musk, founder of aerospace company SpaceX, is heading underground. He’s decided to start an independent company to bore tunnels underneath the roads of Los Angeles as an alternative to sitting in traffic. He’s hoping to eventually dig thousands of miles, eventually creating a vast underground network that includes as many as 30 levels of tunnels for cars and high-speed trains such as the Hyperloop. We don’t mind never seeing the sun if it gets us to work in half the time!
Coming in Purple!
The Metro’s big project to expand railways throughout the city is already underway, with a lot of the work occurring on the Purple Line. Under construction now, one of Metro’s most anticipated projects will take riders from Downtown Los Angeles to Westwood. The first phase of construction on the project began in 2014 and should be open to riders by 2023 at the latest.
Currently, they’re drilling through La Brea and Wilshire, and recently found fossils of prehistoric mammals, including the tusk of a Mastodon!
Future of High Speed Rail?
The highly-anticipated high speed rail in California may have finally met its match in Donald Trump’s administration. The Federal Transit Administration has recently put the brakes on a $647 million grant to help pay for electrification of a commuter train system that was a key part of the rail line extension. Despite the delay, the state of California approved a request for $2.6 billion to go to the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The future is still shaky, but the high-speed train could be coming around the bend before we know it.
LA is embracing pedal power, adding more bike lanes and making it safer for bike commuters. Biking past the beach or along the LA river is quickly becoming a top activity, especially with the new Metro bikes popping up around the city. Maybe LA should take a hint from the Netherlands and build this futuristic Hovenring that’s just for bikes! You gotta check out the video.
LA Votes for Transportation
In this month’s election, LA defeated measure S, which,” [shows] Angelenos are embracing a future where active transportation is essential in shaping our growth,” said Tamika Butler, executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.
LA has spoken, and Mayor Garcetti is listening. He’s already signed an executive order that will make it easier for LA to build as many housing units as possible, as quickly as possible. Particularly, housing units that are clustered in dense, efficient neighborhoods that are along transit corridors, giving people more flexibility to take the metro to commute and walk to daily errands. Solving the housing crisis and transportation issue in one fell swoop? Not bad.
Though we will likely be inching our way down the 405 for a few more years, these upcoming innovations will hopefully have us skipping traffic! But, what if that means we have to spend more time at work!?