Los Angeles and London

On a recent trip to the USA I was delighted to find that the airport shuttle bus from LA International to the Van Nuys bus terminal up in the northern suburbs, worked rather well, coping better (-than I would have done in a rental car) with the immense rush hour traffic, which was frequently at a standstill well into the endless warm evening.

The congestion on the somewhat optimistically named ‘Freeways’ is a titanic struggle between the daily travelling habits of x millions and the bottleneck of road capacity. Yes, even California-size motorways get clogged by the diurnal flow. And although the state of California piolted and still reserves ‘High Occupancy’ lanes for vehicles travelling with more than 1 occupant has helped, the dance of countless US-built, Japanese and foreign cars that I observed was at least twice a day more a still life than a well-choreographed Tango.

Having witnessed this, I am now walking about in the UK’s largest city, and although I see bursts of stopped traffic, sometimes appear to be gridlocked, however the London traffic jam is considerably smaller…perhaps we will collectively awake to the ‘stalled city’ forecast that this comparison invites: and act to avoid the huge cost to society that having millions of cars frozen in their orbit around a city imposes on the lifestyles of its citizens, the environment -not to mention the opportunity cost of their being unavailable for some hours per day?

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