Los Angeles Traffic is #1

18Sep07

Thank you, CNN, for your enlightening top story about how bad the congestion is here. In fact, I don’t think we’ve had quite enough written about our traffic woes. We need more reporting on this. More pictures of cars idling on the freeway. More images of a California sunset poking through a smog-layered horizon. More talk.

Anyone else fed up yet? It seems like all we do is talk about how bad things are. How bad they’re getting. How bad they’ll be. Isn’t it time someone did something?

Los Angeles needs citizens who aren’t afraid to do bold things. To do things that need to be done. It needs a city council that isn’t running in 143 different directions, looking out for their own 277 different neighborhoods. It needs a mayor with some balls to make the ballsy decisions that need to be made. Public transit. Schools. Law enforcement. Infrastructure. Gangs.

Our current mayor announces some bold new initiative every couple of months. Rarely do you hear much more about it after that. Remember Operation Pothole? Nice gesture, but, come on.

It’s time for a mayor to stand up and say “I am going to fix traffic in Los Angeles.” Yeah, that will take guts. It will take time. And it will take a lot of hard work and patience. But wouldn’t it get your attention? Wouldn’t such a bold statement by your mayor give you some hope? Wouldn’t you be the least bit curious how he or she was going to pull that off?

More importantly, wouldn’t any bold new plan get your vote?

Photo from msnbc

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2 Responses to “Los Angeles Traffic is #1”

  1. 1 JOHN BORDEN

    LA has the of the best weather in the world

    Very easy to solve the commuting nightmare, clean the air and improve everyone quality of life through better health, ride your bike.

    I ride the bus with my bike to downtown Sacramento, everyday, 12 months a year, and ride home the 31 miles. I’m 55 in great health and have been doing this type of commuting for over 25 years.
    Here are a few statistics provided by a local biking group.
    Bicycling to Work: Health Benefits and Costs of Physical Inactivity
    Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates Fact Sheet
    March 2007

    Health Risks and Benefits:
    60% of Americans lead completely sedentary lifestyles, (1998 report of the American Medical Association)
    Rates of overweight and obesity in the United States have grown to epidemic proportions over the last 20 years. In 2005, the Surgeon General estimated that two-thirds of Americans were overweight or obese.
    Research conducted in 1999 by the Centers for Disease Control found that “obesity and overweight are linked to the nation’s number one killer–heart disease–as well as diabetes and other chronic conditions.” The report also states that one reason for Americans’ sedentary lifestyle is that “walking and cycling have been replaced by automobile travel for all but the shortest distances.” (October 27, 1999 issue of the JAMA)

    Health Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

    Research shows that being physically active for at least thirty minutes, five days a week has a number of important benefits for individual health and well-being, including:

    Lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes
    A reduced risk of colon cancer
    Stronger bones
    A strengthened immune system
    Better weight management
    Increased energy levels
    Enhanced self-esteem
    Better sleep
    Relief from mild to moderate depression

    Recent studies show that several short bouts of activity in a day can produce similar health benefits to one longer bout (Marcus & Forsyth, 2003). For example, you can easily fulfill the recommended physical activity levels by bicycling fifteen minutes to work and bicycling home. According to the Bicycle Commuter Manual, just three hours per week of bicycling can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by 50 percent, not to mention the potential weight control, fitness improvements and many other health benefits.

    “Physical activity can play a key role in helping people feel better. It can improve mood and reduce anxiety” (Louis Appleby, DOH)

    “If we could package exercise up in a pill form it would be the single most widely prescribed medication in the world because it does so much for everybody.” Dr. Miriam Nelson, Associate Chief of the Human Physiology Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University,

    Costs of physical inactivity. A study by Health Management Associates “revealed that, in year 2000 dollars, physical inactivity, obesity, and overweight cost California an estimated $21.7 billion a year in direct and indirect medical care ($10.2 billion), workers’ compensation ($338 million), and lost productivity ($11.2 billion). The annual costs of physical inactivity were estimated at $13.3 billion, obesity at $6.4 billion, and overweight at $2.0 billion. The majority of these costs were shouldered by public and private employers in the form of health insurance and lost productivity. The study projected that these costs would rise to more than $28 billion in 2005 unless aggressive action was taken.
    Amsterdam has over 500,000 bikes that commute to work each day. LA get out of you cars and save your city and your life

  2. I just posted some of the things I learned since moving to LA 6 months ago. I learned that “traffic” is too general of a term to describe what goes on here. Check my post at http://www.liftingfogblog.com under I’m Going Back to Jersey. Cheers!


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