The hours of listening to podcasts, flipping through radio stations and twiddling your thumbs in Los Angeles traffic are being explained by another traffic study.
A recent USC study concluded that evening freeway commutes are more than 13 percent slower than the same morning drive.
“We’ve brought out one sort of discrepancy that most Los Angelians know in their gut is true,” said Gabriel Kahn, lead researcher on the Crosstown research project. “The evening commute is longer and it turned out to be proven to be something significant.”
Crosstown examined round-trip freeway commutes on 18 of Los Angeles’s most congested freeways throughout 2017.
One difference was discovered regarding the 5 Freeway, specifically between the 10 and the 605 stretch.
The study found an 11-minute difference between traveling during morning rush-hour traffic (from 7-9 a.m.) and traveling during evening traffic (4-7 p.m.) on the same route.
“That’s an extra 11 minutes to travel 9.3 miles. If you add that up through the week, that’s almost an hour of extra time on the evening commute,” Kahn said.
The reasons why your evening commute home is more time consuming could be because of the stops people tend to take on the way home according to experts at CalTrans and LA Metro. Commuters like Christopher Wagnor agree; he regularly commutes from Mid-Wilshire to the Glendale area.
“I definitely have noticed that in the morning there is not as much going on,” Wagnor said, who runs a YouTube account dedicated to the bad drivers of LA. “But in the afternoon night time, everyone is coming home from work and school or going out to dinner or running errands. There is a lot more people out on the roads clogging it up.”
However a solution may not be around the corner just yet.
“The study doesn’t try to put forth any solutions. The first step is to identify and quantify the problem,” Kahn said. “Once people have that information and it’s not so [anecdotal] then people can make decisions about the habits to change that.”
“I think there is a solution but it is complicated,” Wagnor said. “There definitely are lights that can be improved upon. There are a lot of lights I sit at a lot longer than others.”
Studies confirming what many residents already knew can be frustrating to commuters like Wagnor. In 2015, Wagnor created the YouTube account, Drivers of Los Angeles, to document his frustrations with his commute and other drivers.
Note: Language in video below may be offensive to some.
“I had a little bit of road rage and would get so frustrated with all the crazy driving I saw,” Wagnor said. “I would tell my coworkers they wouldn’t care about the issues I was having so I put a dash cam in my car so I could document all the cars running red lights and cutting me off.”
Here are the top five evening slogs:
- Southbound 5 between 10 and 605 – 38 percent slower
- Southbound 405 between 118 and 10 – 37.8 percent slower
- Eastbound 10 between Santa Monica Interstate 5 – 36 percent slower
- Northbound 110 between 105 and 101 – 33 percent slower
- Northwest 101 between 5 and Topanga Canyon Blvd. – 29 percent slower
Source: NBC Los Angeles