Traffic in L.A. is about as fun as a trip to the dentist's office, and yes, we usually rank at the top when it comes to American metropolises with the worst “gridlock.”
But on a global scale, we're actually a walk in the park. At least according to IBM's latest “Global Commuter Pain” survey. (Why is a company once called International Business Machines doing a traffic study? Don't know).
So, yeah, driving down Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown at 5 p.m? A breeze compared to these unlucky places (listed in order of those with the most pain):
1 – Mexico City. (Ever ride in the back of one of those fume-spewing Volkswagen Beetle taxis during traffic hour in the D.F? At least it's a relatively cheap way of getting high).
2 – Shenzen, China.
3 – Beijing.
4 – Nairobi.
5 – Johannesburg.
6 – Bangalore.
7 – New Delhi.
8 – Moscow.
9 – Milan.
10 – Singapore.
11 – Buenos Aires.
12 – Los Angeles.
We didn't even make the top 10. So don't cry for us, Argentina. Behind us were Paris, Madrid and New York.
According to an IBM statement, this is what real traffic pain is about:
When asked about the longest amount of time they have been stuck in traffic over the past three years, the mean time reported by drivers in Mexico City, Moscow, Beijing, Shenzhen and Nairobi were notable, with delays of about two hours.
The two top factors for “pain,” according to the survey, are commute times and time stuck in traffic.
In L.A., despite our lowly ranking, more people this year (44 percent vs. 21 percent in 2010) say traffic has increased their stress. And more Angelenos this year (29 versus 14) say traffic has caused anger.
Well, you can lighten up just a little knowing that 11 other cities have it worse. That feeling coming over you is called schadenfreude. Enjoy.