LA Commuting: Not for the Faint of Heart - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Assistant News Director Tom Searson

LA Commuting: Not for the Faint of Heart

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By: Tom Searson/FOX 11 Assistant News Director

For some unexplained reason the weekday  freeway commuting "experience" has turned into an utter nightmare for anyone leaving their Westside place of business and heading East to and through downtown Los Angeles.

Since I have been making this commuting hike for that past 18 years, I'm astonished how the drive has become unbearable, not only the freeways, but alternative streets like Pico and Olympic.

Patience is a virtue, but perhaps patience driving at a snail's pace should be a vice.

I ask myself how could I have wasted so much of my life trying to find and drive in the fast lane? I calculated this past weekend, using 15 years as a period and I have spent one year and 13 days just commuting.

It's impossible to comprehend.

I used to think heavy rush hour traffic was seasonal with occasional relief.

Heavy traffic after the Labor Day weekend signals the opening of school making side streets and freeways somewhat slower.

Holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas created some fast days on the Santa Monica freeway, as people took time off of work and schools were off for a brief period.

For a few days I could actually get home for a warm dinner, not just heating up leftovers.

Now, everything has changed.

No matter higher gas prices, or car pool lanes, or some other transportation options in the making. Nothing gets people out of their cars nor do their cars go faster.

The actual "seeing- is- believing" construction of the new light rail system from downtown LA to the Westside (scheduled to open in a few years) may offer help in reducing freeway traffic, but it is a few years away.

Don't even mention the "subway to the sea" an impossible dream, which does not seem feasible in my lifetime.

So, as the LA Auto Show opens with fancy designs, the latest in comfort and luxury, I may look for a specific new model.

One equipped with a microwave oven, so that warm dinner I yearn for each night can be had right in my car.

Tom 

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