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A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Why they put up with this

Written March 23rd, 2015 by Hasso Hering
These people were not going anywhere fast, but they eventually got where they were headed.

These people were not going anywhere fast, but they eventually got where they were headed.

Why do ostensibly free people put up with congestion like this? Stick around and I’ll tell you why.

This particular traffic jam on Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles happened on a Saturday. It was caused by an accident farther north, but on weekdays conditions like that are not uncommon on the Southland’s many freeways even without crashes.

So why do people put up with it? Why don’t they leave for some place less crowded?

Because while the commute and even a trip to the store involves navigating through plenty of traffic, there are things that make up for it. Such as more jobs, more restraurants, more variety in restaurants, more stores, more friendly service in those stores, more speed to life in general. And of course, in Orange County, miles and miles of beautiful bike paths.

But above all, there’s the year-round balmy weather, so that even in the winter you can enjoy a day at the beach without bundling up. And when you can slip into an outdoor pool for a quick swim in the middle of March, and then dry off in the rays of a warming sun, that makes up for many a traffic jam. (hh)

6 responses to “Why they put up with this”

  1. Guy March says:

    Just spent a week down there. Still not worth it.

  2. HowlingCicada says:

    Also, only 95% of new housing in SoCal is the same neo-traditional, neo-classical, over-decorated, overblown, oversized crud that has taken over most of the U.S. since sometime in the 1990’s. Maybe I’m wrong – it’s just a wild guess – I need to do more studying on Google StreetView, but anyway …

    Here it’s extremely close to 100%. No viable choice unless you’re very determined and probably wealthy.

  3. Peggy Richner says:

    As a life-long Angelino myself, I enthusiastically agree with what you say. There are two compensations for my move to Oregon; namely two lovely little granddaughters. On the other hand don’t forget, industry provides the cars, government provides the roads. What else would anyone expect looking at that traffic!

  4. HowlingCicada says:

    Self-driving cars will do more to ease the traffic problem, and at lower cost and better safety, than adding extra lanes.

    The big obstacle to this solution isn’t technical – we’re almost there, it’s political: left-wing all-purpose technophobia, right-wing government-phobia, and lawyer-induced fear of change.

  5. James Carrick says:

    They can have it.


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