Los Angeles, CA

Was the pandemic enough to change Los Angeles's notoriously bad traffic?

Eugene Adams

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Traffic in Los Angeles is notoriously bad. There are some parts of the day residents refuse to drive if it can be avoided.

The traffic is so bad that the Rams had to delay practice since so many players were stuck

In 2019, more than 150,000 L.A. County residents spent 90 minutes or longer commuting to work (one way). 

The pandemic changed a lot. Many people have realized that working from home is possible. 

Will more people insist on working from home to avoid traffic?

With California reopening fully, we are about to find out.

Traffic Rebounding

During the worst of the pandemic, traffic was light. It was strange being able to drive around Los Angeles during normally busy times. 

However, as time passed, traffic rebounded.

Traffic is currently near pre-pandemic levels.

It will only get worse now that many companies are returning to the office. 

Back to The Office?

According to Bob Pishuem, a transportation data analyst, traffic data has shown some interesting trends. Weekend traffic is close to pre-Covid levels. However, traffic is down around 20% during morning commute times

Closed schools and working from home are probably responsible for the 20% drop.

Many companies are in the process of returning to the office. 

Some will require workers in the office full-time, others only part-time.

My Thoughts

Two things could make a huge positive impact on Los Angeles traffic. 

One is a huge uptick in people working from home permanently. 

The second is an increase in the reliability and availability of public transportation. 

So, let's be honest, L.A. traffic isn't changing. 

If the government were going to step up and do something about public transportation, they would have done it by now. 

Some companies will allow workers to work from home, but most won’t.

As much as Los Angeles commutes suck, it still beats not having a job. So many will continue to suffer through their traffic-filled commutes. 

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