Every time I’ve come to LA over the years, I’ve always looked forward to it and enjoyed my time here. I love the endless diversity of the people here. The beaches are gorgeous. The weather is pretty much always sunny and warm. The diversity of people also means that the food here is represented from probably every culture on earth somewhere in the LA/Orange County area. There’s too much good food here in nearly every neighborhood and at every single price point. Al fresco dining is the norm. It’s hard to beat the quality of life in Southern California.
But then, I think about the number 1 thing I cannot stand about LA: the traffic. Every time I come here, I constantly wonder why there are always so many cars on the road, all this gridlock everywhere. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s 3pm or 6pm; there’s always a traffic jam. It makes zero sense to me.
On a ride from Santa Monica to Hermosa Beach to meet my cousin and his family, the distance was only about 15 miles, yet the ride took nearly an hour! This is an everyday occurrence. In no traffic, it shouldn’t have taken more than 20 minutes, but once traffic hits, a 20-minute ride can easily become 1.25 hours long. And today, on the ride from Santa Monica to LAX, my initial Google Maps estimate said the ride should take 17 minutes given I was leaving at a quieter time. In the end, we got unlucky and hit traffic, and so that original 17-minute estimate ended up being 40 minutes.
I understand why people love LA; I love LA as a visitor. But I also understand why they hate it. This traffic is truly out of control and could easily suck the life out of me if I had to deal with it every single day.