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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-11-06, 09:41 PM   #1
mac
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Worst Cities for Traffic: Los Angeles + 8 more CA cities

Worst Cities for Traffic

1. Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Ana, Calif.
2. San Francisco, Oakland, Calif.
3. Washington, D.C.
4. Atlanta
5. Houston
6. Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Tex.
7. Chicago.
8. Detroit
9. Riverside, San Bernardino, Calif.
9. Orlando, Fla.
11. San Jose, Calif.
12. San Diego

California has a decided edge in winning the award for the worst traffic, since five of its cities (or city regions) make the top 12 list.


This is so true. Even on Sat and Sun day or evening, there is heavy traffic on the freeways. Only in the dead of night after the bars close and before the early-morning commuters start are the freeways somewhat clear. I say somewhat because that is also when CalTrans does all of their repairwork.

It's crazy out here in the LA / Riverside / San Diego area with the housing bubble. All of these people are living further and futher away from their jobs in the city and they all get on the freeways at the same time. One Friday evening, it took me 5 hours to drive 120 miles from LA to San Diego. Surely this madness will have to end once global Peak Oil hits this decade. When I'm stuck in traffic on a weekend drive, I'm just amazed at the amount of oil we are wasting every single day just stuck in traffic. What an even better reason to ride your bike to work.
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Old 02-11-06, 10:17 PM   #2
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I'm amazed how people are missing how low the quality of life is with the traffic out here in SoCal. I mean, yeah the sunshine is great but I will never... no matter how long I live here... get used to having to budget anywhere from 35 minutes to 2 hours to drive across town - depending on traffic. That is not the staple of a functioning society. And these people who are taking on 700,000 home-loans for 2 or 3-bedroom single-level suburban relics from the 60s, commuting 60+ miles in crawling rush-hour, and spending hundreds of dollars a month on gas don't realize that the life they've set up is insanity. The sunshine is not that worth it.

(he says, living in SoCal!!!)

That said, though, while I'm here I would never consider buying a home out here.

It's funny because I grew up in Philadelphia and I always thought the traffic was bad there. The worst traffic jam in Philly is just about comparable to the clearest traffic conditions in LA. It's nuts.
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Old 02-12-06, 12:32 PM   #3
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20 Years ago, on a Friday night, I realized that it took me longer to drive from Los Angeles (Wilshire District) to my father's house in Lake Elsinore that it would have to pedal there.

I took the hint.
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Old 02-12-06, 02:53 PM   #4
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I have a friend who moved here from the San Diego area giving up a 2 hour one-way commute by car to work. Life's too short to waste 4 hours a day in traffic.
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Old 02-12-06, 03:04 PM   #5
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Woot! I am vindicated! I've told people here on BF about the horrible traffic and lack of respect from drivers on the respect and people told me this is a knee-jerk reaction, that SF is a tame city to ride a bike in. Well it's true, our traffic is bad and I can see a direct correlation between the traffic and the attitude of drivers. When an automobile driver gets stuck in traffic, that tea kettle in their brain starts to whistle, and when they see a biker passing them and making progress, that tea kettle begins to boil over and out comes the road rage!

But to their credit, there are good folks here in the city who drive courteously and watch out for bikers and a big hats-off to them for bucking the trend.
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Old 02-12-06, 04:31 PM   #6
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That's why I'm so happy I commute using my bike to work. After work I take the beach path going home.
Eat this L.A Traffic

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Old 02-12-06, 05:13 PM   #7
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Let me jump in and give three jeers for Atlanta traffic. We're may only #4 on your list, but we're gaining on you.
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Old 02-12-06, 05:31 PM   #8
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Chicago traffic was horrible, but the shock I got when waves and waves of cars were surrounding me from all sides here in DC was pretty bad. But still... DC traffic is much MUCH MUCH more bike friendly than Chicago will ever hope to be. So I'm cool with the amount of cars here.

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Old 02-12-06, 05:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigtire
That's why I'm so happy I commute using my bike to work. After work I take the beach path going home.
Eat this L.A Traffic
Ahhhh... Will Roger's State Beach. Dude, I would ride my bike to that beach almost every day before class because that's where they filmed Baywatch.
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Old 02-12-06, 05:44 PM   #10
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Maybe some folks in Los Angeles sit in traffic everyday, we made sure to buy a house in a central neighborhood so that I only have to ride 30 minutes to work. If folks feel that having a humungous house is worth a 2 hour commute out of their lives every day more power to them. But for all the snowbound los angeles haters out there, my wife and I went for a swim outside today and now I'm going to go hang out in my backyard and pick lemons to make some lemonade. It's all what your priorities are in life.
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Old 02-12-06, 06:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigtire
That's why I'm so happy I commute using my bike to work. After work I take the beach path going home.
Eat this L.A Traffic
I have the same commuting scenery in San Diego.

Our house is small and I make a little less money because of where I work but for us, it's worth it. Some weeks the only time I go east of the Coast Hwy is for inland road rides.
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Old 02-12-06, 06:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tg1896
Let me jump in and give three jeers for Atlanta traffic. We're may only #4 on your list, but we're gaining on you.
I'm sorry, but no. I lived in Atlanta for a year. There is NO possible way that Atlanta will ever reach the mess that LA is. Compared to LA, Atlanta is heaven.
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Old 02-12-06, 07:05 PM   #13
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Maybe I have always chosen the time of day to drive through LA well, and sure maybe where the 405 and 101 meet is the center of Hell, but I could have sworn Atlanta traffic had LA beat by a mile.

Here's a pic of an awful December 23 commute in Santa Barbara, where traffic also sux but our city is too small to ever make any rankings, except sometimes we get on the radar when they rank median home prices.
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Old 02-13-06, 06:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac
Ahhhh... Will Roger's State Beach. Dude, I would ride my bike to that beach almost every day before class because that's where they filmed Baywatch.
They used to film Baywatch in the parking lot across where I live almost every morning. Nothing beats waking up in the morning and walking my dogs and get to see the Baywatch babes in their so called life guard uniforms.

Last edited by Pigtire; 02-13-06 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 02-13-06, 06:21 PM   #15
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Do you live in those colorful condos right by the bike path? Baywatch used the real lifeguard building at Will Roger's as their base, then the other real lifegurd building in Venice as their rival's base, if I remember the storyline correctly. Oh, did I just admit I used to watch Baywatch?

I would never ride on PCH during that stretch of the the highway, especially since the I-10 dumps right into it. I'd take the beach bike path from Venice to Will Roger's, then ride up into the Pacific Palisades. The path would both suck and be really cool on the weekends - the former because it was so crowded you couldn't ride more than 8 or 9 mph, the latter because there were a lot of rollerblader girls in bikinis sharing the path.
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Old 02-13-06, 08:16 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=sbhikes]Maybe I have always chosen the time of day to drive through LA well, and sure maybe where the 405 and 101 meet is the center of Hell, but I could have sworn Atlanta traffic had LA beat by a mile.

Now I have yet to drive around Atlanta--and visit for more than a layover--but I have an intense inkling --that is so intense that it may not be an inkling at all!--that Atlanta is not on par with LA. It is not just the 405 or 101, you are forgetting the 10, the 110, the 605, the ONE, the FIVE and the 710!! And let's not forget that pretty much EVERY large street and side road in LA is a traffic hazard. If you are not well-versed in the screwed up traffic grid system then you're plumb outta luck. LA is an absolute mess and we Angelenos will never have the opportunity to clean it up. Ya gotta get out, that's the only way.
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Old 02-13-06, 09:00 PM   #17
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Well, I heard that the day they opened the Georgia 400 there was a traffic jam. There was a traffic jam at 10pm on a Friday when I was there on the Georgia 400.

I'll admit it did take 3 hours to get to downtown LA from Santa Barbara for a conference recently. It should have taken only 2. I think it's a toss-up. I would ride my bike in downtown LA or the San Fernando Valley before I'd ever ride any of the suburbs that I saw in Atlanta.
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Old 02-13-06, 09:07 PM   #18
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Hold on. Some of those cities were just ranked most bike friendly.
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Old 02-14-06, 07:29 PM   #19
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Everyone seems to be forgetting about San Bernardino county in these surveys.
I've lived in the Victor Valley area since I was four(1987).
I've seen this place go from an area where car trips were 60+mph with two stoplights, all the way to what the rest of Southern California is like.
I've had my drivers license for only three years now and have since gotten a Class A Commercial and a Motorcycle M1 tacked on.
Although, I only drove for about six months after getting my regular car license.
The traffic on all of the major roads here has gotten to the point of "forever bottleneck" due to so many LA/Orange/Riverside county suburbanites wanting cheaper mortgage.
I've since decided two wheels with or without motors is more economical and practical than the four-wheeled coffins rolling around.
Here in the desert area, the only two woes I have to deal with are winds coming from the south, and the ever present road bully who feels like Prince Valiant in their Hoop-D ride.
On the other hand, I'm really looking into a community where you don't have to hear bulldozers and "Xtreme" engine exhausts all hours of the day.
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Old 02-14-06, 07:37 PM   #20
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I have lived in four places on that list. Of coarse I've been in Denver for the last 16 years so things have changed.
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