7 Reasons Having the Worst Traffic in the Nation Is Actually a Win

Let’s think positive

Los Angeles: we have world-class museums, accessible beaches, excellent restaurants, and enviable weather. With all that good stuff, it makes sense that our congestion would be terrible; everyone wants to be here and there’s so many activities to pursue. That’s the spin we’re putting on the L.A. area being named most traffic-clogged metropolis in the nation, with drivers spending, on average, 81 hours—nearly 3.4 days—idling in 2015 (D.C. and San Francisco tied for second at 75 hours). Data company Inrix came up with their findings by studying freeway speeds, discovering the 101 eastbound was the worst hellscape in the nation.

Sure, new Metro lines are opening at a fast clip, but traffic will be with us for perpetuity. And that’s not to say that gridlock doesn’t have its perks. Here are the advantages:

  • NPR! Angelenos must be the most informed Americans in the nation, since we hear so much of Ari Shapiro, Lakshmi Singh, and Steve Inskeep. Also, we have the best NPR member radio station—the reliably hip KCRW.
  • It’s like a gold rush for Uber and Lyft drivers. Who cares about fighting traffic when you’re grabbin’ that dough!
  • You’re never without an excuse if you’re late. No way you’re going to make that 9 p.m. dinner date? “The 405 was a nightmare!”
  • Sitting in a traffic jam may be the only time your eyes aren’t directed toward a computer monitor or iPhone screen (well, at least for some conscientious drivers). Meditation time!
  • Idling on the freeway may also be the only time you can get yourself to actually make a phone call. Disputing that charge on your Visa? Done. Thanking Nana for the birthday card? Cross it off the list!
  • It’s getting so bad, even your lazy co-worker is biking to work a few days a week, and your officemates are almost as eager for the Expo Line to Santa Monica as they are for the opening of Harry Potter Land.
  • Our dubious distinction will hopefully keep some people from moving here.