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Californians dreaming of escaping traffic-clogged climes have good reason.
Los Angelenos face some of the nation’s worst gridlock according to a report by the American Highway Users Alliance of the top 50 bottlenecks. Nine of the nation’s top 20 bottlenecks are in Los Angeles
Road warriors in Chicago — which ranked number one with a 12 mile long clog on Interstate 90 — New York City, Boston, Seattle, Newark and Miami also have good reason to grouse, their cities ranked among the top 20 for bottlenecked traffic.
The report comes just as roughly 47 million Americans prepare to take to the roads to travel more than 50 miles over the Thanksgiving holiday, according the AAA Travel. And whether travelers wend their way through such highways as I-395 near the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Washington D.C. or I-75/I-85 near Freedom Parkway in Atlanta, their highway commutes are likely to be clogged.
Such trends aren’t some “idiosyncratic” blip, Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said during a press conference on the nation’s bottlenecks on Monday.
America’s population is expected to grow as much as 70 million over the next 30 years and all of those people will put a strain on the country’s roadways if infrastructure isn’t improved, Foxx said.
But those improvements take money.
The issue of funding federal highway projects has long been a thorny matter in Congress. The Senate agreed last week to extend funding to the chronically financially strapped Highway Trust Fund until Dec. 4th as lawmakers in both chambers of Congress hammer out an agreement over separate multiyear highway bills.
Foxx said he is hopeful that Congress will reach a resolution that would ultimately lead to investment in infrastructure that could help relieve bottlenecks.
“We need to take a break from 20th century policy and apply new policy to a 21st century context,” Foxx said.