For years, Southern California lawmakers have tried to steer clear of decisions that make driving more expensive or miserable, afraid of angering one of their largest groups of constituents.
But now, transportation officials say, congestion has grown so bad in Los Angeles County that politicians have no choice but to contemplate charging motorists more to drive — a strategy that has stirred controversy but helped cities in other parts of the world tame their own traffic.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is pushing to study how what’s commonly referred to as congestion pricing could work in L.A., including converting carpool lanes to toll lanes, taxing drivers based on the number of miles they travel, or charging a fee to enter certain neighborhoods and business districts.
I’ve spent about 40 years of my life in California and have never been south of Bakersfield. SoCal traffic is the Number One reason I’ve avoided that place like the plague.
My buddy David lived in LA from the time he was in his teens until he was about 30. He lived something like 20 miles from his job, had to take 4 different freeways and took a good hour each way to drive it on a normal day. Fuck that shit. Anybody that would continue to willingly put up with that has me seriously questioning their judgement.
Hell, Fucking Bay Area traffic between Modesto and Tracy where I worked was bad enough. It was bumper to bumper but at least it moved along at 70 mph – until there was an accident. Then my 45 mile, 45 minute commute turned into a couple hours.