Although some researchers think we should learn to love congestion, it’s going to take a whole lot of willpower to love what’s in store for southern California. Says the LA Times: Delays for San Bernardino County drivers are projected to double by 2030. Riverside County drivers can expect daily delays to quadruple. The picture isn’t pretty in Los Angeles, Orange or Ventura counties either, which could see traffic problems increase 73%, 113%, and 158% respectively, in spite of $123 billion budgeted for everything from freeway widenings to bus maintenance And it’s even worse in the areas surrounding LA: Rush-hour commuters in outlying areas will fare the worst, with separate Riverside County traffic studies showing an “F” rating Ã¢â?¬â?? the worst grade possible Ã¢â?¬â?? along the Riverside Freeway, Interstates 15 and 215, and State Route 60. All this awfulness is expected, even while billions will be spent on road projects. I find it hard to believe that if Angelinos really understood privately financed toll roads they wouldn’t throw down a few bucks per day for a guaranteed speedy commute. Lots of us spend that much on coffee, and I’d say a low-stress commute is more valuable than coffee.
Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.