The Climate of Greater Los Angeles and Southern California Reliance on the Automobile…infected by this ennui of monotony…

Greater Los Angeles and Southern California have long been known as possessing a near perfect climate. This climate is consistent, palpable and marketed! The prevailing winds from the Pacific Ocean often create an air conditioning effect where many residences to this day do not have their own private air conditioning. Residents open their windows and large sliding wall-like doors and let the interior environment be naturally cooled by the Pacific Ocean breeze. Long time residents of Greater Los Angeles have come to accept the Mediterranean-like weather that they become immune to its existence. Reading in the newspapers or hearing about weather conditions elsewhere—hurricanes, tornados, torrential rainstorms—may cause Angelenos to acknowledge they live in a paradise as far as the weather is concerned. This brief communication breaks the silence of taking their weather system for granted. “The gradual process of sublimation that seems to characterize most attitudes towards the best…aspects of the environment, but it does take place. Visitors or newcomers, however, who are not yet infected by this essential ennui, are overwhelmed by the natural beauty around them.”

Can the same phenomena of monotony about the consistent weather patterns account for the over-reliance on the automobile for movement in and around Greater Los Angeles? How do we explain the lack of serious movement to improve the urban transportation options in this megalopolis? Are Angelenos and visitors so accepting of the congestion and traffic headaches caused by such a total reliance on the automobile as to be permanently repressed into monotonous acceptance like the persistent sunshine and body-heat temperatures of the prevailing weather?

Los Angeles Freeway Congestion…

Published by: roberttracyphd

Academic professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. I teach theory courses in Art and Architecture History. In addition, I also curate exhibitions on campus as well as in other venues nationally and internationally.

38 Comments

38 thoughts on “The Climate of Greater Los Angeles and Southern California Reliance on the Automobile…infected by this ennui of monotony…”

  1. I definitely feel that Angelenos and tourists have the phrase “it’s just the way it is,” ingrained in their mind when thinking about the transportation system in Greater Los Angeles. I feel like they’ve lived with it for so long, what’s the point in attempting to fix it? And because they’ve just accepted it, the City of Los Angeles must never see it as a priority in their city council meetings; it’s like one less thing to worry about. They definitely view the transportation system like their weather. As Kelso from That 70s Show once said, “Well damn, Jackie! I can’t control the weather!”

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  2. I see that automobile traffic as having to do with the dispersal of amenities throughout the city. Not many people live near their work, food resources, shopping malls, cultural spaces, and entertainment amenities. I’ve seen it that in Los Angeles, these amenity spaces are spaced at least 20 minutes away from each other. So that’s a contributing factor to the reliance of automobiles. People who live closer to these amenities seem to be able to take other means of transportation: bus, bike, skateboard, or just on foot. But this is because they have more of a reason too. The over-reliance could also just have something to do with a convenience of travel – which is interesting to say because of how much traffic there really is. But people have found alternative routes that can get them to their destinations by car and in an efficient time span.

    I think the lack of serious movement to improve urban transportation could just be because of how ingrained the freeway system is in peoples daily lives. The system of taking the freeway or diverting to side streets seems natural to people who have lived there for so long – they know these routes and how to get around the traffic by memory. People are just expectant of the congestion and traffic and maybe thats why theres monotonous acceptance. The traffic is a part of the experience of Los Angeles.

    From what i’ve seen, sitting in Los Angeles traffic you’ll see construction somewhere along you’re route. The improvement of urban transportation can lead to an increase in that construction and maybe people are against it because they know that construction could just worsen the traffic and congestion. There could be an economic factor to it but I don’t have much to say about that issue.

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  3. The lack of serious movement and city planning to improve transportation in the megalopolis has created complex challenges that are not easy to solve. I believe Angelenos have accepted the extremely long drives in the same manner they have become accustomed to the climate. The people who grew up in Los Angeles seemed to accept the long freeways congestions as part of the culture or as a daily ritual that they must endure. Proposing a new solution with innovative construction would require longer delays to arrive at a destination causing people to shy away from the idea of changing the system of transportation. However, such steps must be taken in order to improve mobility for the future of the city. Further, the revitalization of a red car system could be an alternative that would alleviate car congestions as more people would be inclined to use it in order to avoid the long traffic. Flexible public transportation combined with designing streets and buildings that allowed for better walkability distance can be the beginning of a solution to the overwhelming problem.

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  4. The concept of the freeway has become an afterthought to the residents of Greater Los Angeles. The population has become accustomed to the idea of having amenities that are either easily accessible by foot in a city that seems never ending, or just rely on the car as something that almost resembles easily accessible shelter. As a visitor ,I would be lying if I didn’t say I also feel like it’s second nature that you expect to be stuck in traffic when in Southern California. You almost accept the fact that you’re going to be stuck in traffic and actually plan around it. I do believe the younger generation of the city is starting to try to change the monotonous nature of
    transportation, whether its by simply living in more urbanized settings or using the small available green means of transportation. The city does struggle from optimal transportation options, but recent expenditures in expansions by local municipalities to the Los Angeles Metro system show at least an attitude towards change. The city is also planning to expand from 93 stops currently to around 200 stops within the next 30 years.This continued investment, as well as changes to city planning may begin to shift towards a day where Greater Los Angeles can return to being known for it’s climate, rather than the time it takes you to actually get outside to experience it.

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  5. I see the condition of the greater Los Angeles gridlocked area as just a con to balance the pro of a pleasant, moderate climate. Residents put up with it perhaps because they realize they can’t have everything they want. There are pros and cons to all communities in my opinion. It would have been great if planning would have gone in to the layout ahead of time, but the growth of the area outpaced the projections I suppose. Current developments here locally and other growing areas are formatted in a way that necessary resources are accommodated ahead of time. I think the independence of having your own automobile would be hard to abandon in exchange for a newly provided source of public transportation. That is my personal take on a potential shift to alternative transportation.

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  6. I think that this is an issue that goes much further than just “it is the way it is.” The United States has one of the worst public transportation and infrastructure ratings in the world when it comes to first-world countries. LA is one of the most congested cities in the United States, but I think that’s more to do with the size of California and the population of the state. Cities like Shanghai have twenty-four million people, while LA has four million. Shanghai arguably has more traffic than LA but not nearly the same amount of congestion because the transportation system was designed more efficiently. This is a state-wide issue that I think most Americans tend to just accept. As a former engineering major, I have taken civil engineering classes and was able to get a glimpse as to why congestion in areas such as LA are so bad. I think that it is an issue that is being very slowly fixed, but unfortunately take years to accomplish a positive result on the congestion of traffic in highly populated cities such as LA.

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  7. In my opinion this has everything to do with the automobile and gasoline industries and their lobbying. It’s far too profitable to keep cars and gas guzzlers on the road, especially when they are required for life. It’s hard to live without one. Creating public transportation isn’t profitable, and our country seems to be all about greed, and also unwilling to let go of industries that harm the planet. So many of America’s systems just need to be rethought, torn down and rebuilt because we are not only delaying our evolution as a country, but also delaying the evolution of the world because of our connectivity. I think the people in LA just accept it because they are powerless to make things any different. It’s quite different than not having a/c in your home because you know the weather is nice.

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  8. I think that the residents of Los Angeles love living there so much that the congestion and traffic is what it is. However as someone not from LA, I find this enormously annoying, inconvenient and inefficient. There are so many different ways for people to get around that don’t include sitting on the free way in back to back traffic for hours, wasting money on gas and slowly killing the environment. However, I think the act of getting in your car and driving your route through your city every day is something that a lot of people find joy in. The thought of that not being an option makes me feel upset. I would prefer to be crowded amongst other cars rather than other people. This back and forth in my mind makes me think that there has been no push to create a better transportation system because no one has yet thought of a way to find a balance between personal transportation and public transportation. But there is no perfect balance! If a project were project to fix the LA transportation system were put into motion, kinks can always be worked out later and new ideas will develop along the way.

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  9. People have grown complacent with the traffic situation. The weather plays a role in it, if it was a bit more miserable for example, like a Las Vegas summer, people would probably push harder for better transportation or freeway construction. I’m sure there were people and groups in the past that wanted a change, see some improvement in urban transportation but were dismissed or ignored. A few years ago, I heard people from Los Angeles where pushing for a subway, a few years before that it was a monorail, nothing came of it. As average citizens living in a bustling city, what can you do but try to live your life more comfortably? People don’t see results, they get tired of fighting, everyone has more important things to worry about in their lives. So, overtime, people would grow more complacent, accepting it as just a daily part of living in Los Angeles, because the alternative would be a lot of effort and frustration for nothing. Reducing the issue to “annoying daily commutes” is a lot easier to swallow than “we can’t make a change that would make our lives better.” People in positions to make the big decisions don’t see the need to make things better and do not want to spend the time and money to build it. People with wealth and power don’t care unless it serves them, or they themselves are directly affected by the issue, and most importantly their money.

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  10. The repetitiousness with consistent weather patterns accounts for the over-reliance on the automobile for movement in and around Greater Los Angeles. You can sit outside never having to deal with “weather conditions elsewhere—hurricanes, tornados, torrential rainstorms” (Robert Tracy, Ph.D.), and sinkholes—does make it a paradise worth the sacrifice of traffic conditions. While in February, you can walk around in shorts, and in the summer, there is rarely humidity or a heatwave. The ocean breeze and blue skies will cheer you up if you happen to be depressed, similar to Las Vegas.
    When it comes to the over-reliance of the automobile for movement in and around LA, it is merely because of how Los Angeles is laid out, not lending itself to mass transportation. In explaining the lack of serious movement to improve the urban transportation options in this megalopolis, you must manage the demand for roadways. Addressing the need for driving during peak hours when the congestion is at its peak since the building, you must look at LA is already the most extensive in the nation, and there is very little space to expand where congestion is more concentrated.
    I am not sure if Angelenos and visitors are so accepting of the congestion and traffic headaches caused by such a total reliance on the automobile to be permanently repressed into monotonous acceptance. Still, I believe that the constant sunshine and body-heat temperatures of the prevailing weather make it worthwhile.

    CeCe Kay

    Like

  11. The repetitiousness with consistent weather patterns accounts for the over-reliance on the automobile for movement in and around Greater Los Angeles. You can sit outside never having to deal with “weather conditions elsewhere—hurricanes, tornados, torrential rainstorms” (Robert Tracy, Ph.D.), and sinkholes—does make it a paradise worth the sacrifice of traffic conditions. While in February, you can walk around in shorts, and in the summer, there is rarely humidity or a heatwave. The ocean breeze and blue skies will cheer you up if you happen to be depressed, similar to Las Vegas.
    When it comes to the over-reliance of the automobile for movement in and around LA, it is merely because of how Los Angeles is laid out, not lending itself to mass transportation. In explaining the lack of serious movement to improve the urban transportation options in this megalopolis, you must manage the demand for roadways.  Addressing the need for driving during peak hours when the congestion is at its peak since the building, you must look at LA is already the most extensive in the nation, and there is very little space to expand where congestion is more concentrated.
    I am not sure if Angelenos and visitors are so accepting of the congestion and traffic headaches caused by such a total reliance on the automobile to be permanently repressed into monotonous acceptance. Still, I believe that the constant sunshine and body-heat temperatures of the prevailing weather make it worthwhile.

    CeCe Kay

    Like

  12. The traffic in Los Angeles is a problem that Angelenos have just come to terms with. The way the city was designed, I feel like it is literally impossible to come up with a public transportation system that is super efficient. It is what it is. The problem has started to leak into Las Vegas which is something we are not used to. The growing population is Las Vegas is attributing to this. We have started expanding freeways and although I feel like it will help, I do not think It will be a permanent solution. It will be interesting to see how Las Vegas handles this since we have to adjust to this rather than being accustomed to it.

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  13. As for the traffic I think that the people of LA and areas around just accept the traffic, adjust their schedules to the traffic and must just accept these conditions. I live 25-30 minute drive to campus, when I get out of school at around 5-6pm, I just have to accept the fact that it will take me an hour to an hour and a half to get home. These driving conditions are considered when moving homes around Vegas just as much as moving around LA. LA is worse in that regard and could benefit with a train station since their density is similar to that of Athens or similar to NYC in the fact that even the outskirts are highly populated. Though the general acceptance of traffic in LA is accepted, I don’t think they they will try to fix this issue since it is generally accepted.

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  14. I do think that the effect of monotony does play a role in our acceptance of traffic jams, long commutes, and even the increase in car accidents. However, I think the issue is more of a cultural one. Throughout the entire United States, public transport has never been much of anything compared to other countries; places like New York, DC, and Portland have been the most impressive to me. Of course, this all goes way back to Ford buying out rail lines or soon to be rail lines in an effort to create more of a need for cars, increasing their sales. That, along with the culture advertisements embedded in most Americans. The ads created a symbol connected to the ownership of a car; back then, it was a symbol of the middle class and up. Now on average, each household owns about three vehicles. In high school, I lived in Fairbanks, Alaska; they had one bus line that ran around the city. This made sense because in winter it drops down to -40 Fahrenheit; waiting for a bus at that temperatures can be dangerous. So having a car for each person in the household made sense. To this day, in many circles, riding the bus or train is considered the poor thing to do. I personally preferred to take the bus down to UNLV from the park and ride in Centennial because I could study homework instead of focusing on traffic; also, my vision is not very good, and it’s probably safer.
    However, with COVID 19, I am worried that many will be against public transport, and the traffic in places like Cali and New York will continue to become more congested. The fewer people who use public transport will mean less money towards developing it, and then the monotony will grow again. Unfoutantly this also means people with disabilities, who don’t qualify for the White Bus pick up, will be left using less convenient or more expensive transport versions such as Ubreing to work every day, carpooling or paying for personal car pickups.

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  15. Maria Dos Santos
    ART 699
    Professor Robert Tracy

    Los Angeles is known for its perfect weather. Due to this, people always expect Los Angeles to be sunny and around 60-80 degrees. I can agree that “the same phenomena of monotony about the consistent weather patterns accounts for the over-reliance on the automobile for movement in and around Greater Los Angeles.” Since Los Angeles is also notorious for its horrible traffic, freeways and flawed urban transportation, we have come to expect these things from Los Angeles, just like we expect the perfect weather. This phenomenon of monotony can explain the lack of desire to improve the urban transportation options in the megalopolis. Los Angelenos and visitors are accepting of congestion and traffic caused by the automobile-dependent society that is present in Los Angeles. To change these issues, Los Angelenos need to stop thinking that traffic and the over-reliance on automobiles define the city.

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  16. While I feel that the presence of monotony plays a role in the over-reliance of automobiles, I don’t feel that the people of Los Angeles are necessarily accepting of the congestion on the road. I feel that it’s more a matter of defeat than acceptance. It’s sort of a, ”Well what can you do?” situation. As someone who grew up in Hawaii, I can relate to this mentality. Like California, we have perfect weather in Hawaii and some of the worst rush hour traffic in the country. There is a level of the, “we live in paradise,” mentality, so since everyone wants to live in paradise we just have to get through. That’s not to say that people don’t care about traffic. The issue is that communities don’t know how to fix the situation. If you can afford a car you’re going to drive a car because public transportation in America is not up to great standards like in other countries, such as Japan or Europe for example. Unfortunately, it’s not always on time and it’s not always safe. Also if you’ve ever driven in L.A., you’ll have noticed that road rage is everywhere. Road rage is not exactly a sign of contentment. In Hawaii, over the years many efforts have been made to get a monorail going but it is still not completely underway, although there is still talk of such a project. I imagine the situation is similar, and a lot more difficult in a bigger state and city like Los Angeles. These projects take time, money, and effective planning amongst architectural and citywide experts and politicians. While living in paradise people do have to make sacrifices, however, I believe that given the chance for improvement, citizens would get out of that monotony mentality and seek a better system. I feel that there are political reasons for there not being a better transportation system. Also, Americans culturally, tend to have a lot of for their personal vehicles.

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  17. As a LA native and I understand this whole being congested by automobiles I can’t say that Angelenos aren’t concerned about how much traffic and people are coming in and out. All you see on the fwy are people who get crazy and if to compare it with the weather Its one of those things that you get used to even if you do not like it. When I had moved to Victorville and at the time I lived there it was complete silence, barely any cars even though you had to have one at that time living there. Folks like me as a teenager hated being there because less cars less noise meant boring. People get stuck in that type of world and don’t know how to handle it. Besides more traffic means more people spending money on gas and this money is definitely not going back to help the city.
    I also believe that its a harder thing to deal with especially when you have situations of them always closing lanes and leaving one open. Then when you talk about public transportation and fixing the system not everyone wants to be on buses that are always late and three of them are lined up at the same stop. This is just what you expect.

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  18. At this point, it would be pretty difficult to radically rethink the car culture of Los Angeles. It’s kind of a self-perpetuating cycle: city planning places neighborhoods, businesses, and recreation/entertainment areas at a great distance from one another, and often the only convenient way to get from one place to another is by driving your own car. Since everyone has a car, it de-incentivizes city planners to use space more efficiently and soon relying on a car becomes more and more necessary. Now there’s a huge system of freeways to deal with, and the scope of the issue makes it easy to throw up your hands. Of course, greed has something to do with it too: there’s more money to be made selling everyone a new car once or twice a decade rather than building one expensive public transport system. Racism as well: back in the days when it was more common, public transportation was most commonly used by the city’s non-white residents.

    It’s ironic that there’s the perception that Angelenos take the area’s beautiful weather for granted; the climate change worsened by their over-reliance on cars is going to destroy that pleasant weather! Of course it isn’t the citizens’ fault. There’s just no other easy way to get around the city. Once again, the villains are those who would rather make an easy buck than create a better space for everyone.

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  19. The repetitiousness with consistent weather patterns accounts for the over-reliance on the automobile for movement in and around Greater Los Angeles. You can sit outside never having to deal with “weather conditions elsewhere—hurricanes, tornados, torrential rainstorms” (Robert Tracy, Ph.D.), and sinkholes—does make it a paradise worth the sacrifice of traffic conditions. While in February, you can walk around in shorts, and in the summer, there is rarely humidity or a heatwave. The ocean breeze and blue skies will cheer you up if you happen to be depressed, similar to Las Vegas.
    When it comes to the over-reliance of the automobile for movement in and around LA, it is merely because of how Los Angeles is laid out, not lending itself to mass transportation. In explaining the lack of serious movement to improve the urban transportation options in this megalopolis, you must manage the demand for roadways.  Addressing the need for driving during peak hours when the congestion is at its peak since the building, you must look at LA is already the most extensive in the nation, and there is very little space to expand where congestion is more concentrated.
    I am not sure if Angelenos and visitors are so accepting of the congestion and traffic headaches caused by such a total reliance on the automobile to be permanently repressed into monotonous acceptance. Still, I believe that the constant sunshine and body-heat temperatures of the prevailing weather make it worthwhile for visitors and Angelenos alike.

    CeCe Kay

    Like

  20. Los Angeles to the world outside of the United States has been known for its perfect paradise-like weather but within the United States, we know the weather is amazing but the problem is the pollution and the congestions of car traffic. The automobile has made living far much easier and convenient because you do not need to be as close to the smog of downtown Los Angeles. Which resulted in the sprawl of the city outwards instead of vertically. The transportation is heavily reliant on the automobile because it is engraved in the brains of the citizens, without the automobile how will they be able to get around the city. Pollution can be improved either from the use of more electric cars such as Teslas and a transit system that can handle masses of people. The people who visit and locals overlook the pollution and love the sunshine and its perfect weather which reflects the issue in car traffic and heavy emissions. The heavy reliance in the automobile has made the people overlook the potential of something innovative that can solve the transportation issues. Los Angeles has defined not only for its beautiful weather that individuals take advantage of but they are known for its horrible freeways that are congested with cars.

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  21. I imagine it is difficult to strive for something else if it is outside your realm of experience. If you have grown up in a city with abysmal traffic and no alternatives, you will naturally accept it for what it is. In a way it takes up more mental and emotional effort to try to resist it than it would to just let it be. I think in a way, people come to love the imperfections of their cities as they are what make them special and it gives everyone something to relate to.

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  22. Southern California has long been marketed as having mild to near perfect climates. I think residents of Greater Los Angeles & SoCal have grown accustomed to such temperate weather; an appreciation for the surrounding environment has dwindled over the years. The same phenomena is happening when referring to the lack of improvements within the transportation sector. Individuals have normalized traffic and long commutes, essentially becoming one of the highlights of the city. There isn’t a pressing urgency to reform the current reliance on automobiles, as Angelenos have passively learned to accommodate such inconvenience. A visitor to Los Angeles may also participate in the monotonous acceptance, as they’re not directly being affected on a day to day basis. City and Urban planners have a great task at hand to evolve the current state of mobility. Los Angeles has been making incremental changes to metro lines among other means of transportation, but struggles to keep up with the changing population.

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  23. If residents of Southern California feel ennui about their climate and car culture, it’s worth noting that the two are correlated. The predictable and pleasant weather in Los Angeles may in fact be jeopardized in the near future, due largely to climate change brought on by vehicle emissions. We accept the traffic and congestion and pollution because that’s the “way things are.” In many places cars are the only efficient way to get around, but obviously cars come with a financial burden that many cannot shoulder. Steps to create more effective urban transportation like buses and trains serve a population that generally has less wealth, which in a capitalist society like ours renders their needs less important. The world is changing quickly, and especially now in “these uncertain times” it feels like it’s going a lot faster. I think taking for granted the way we as a society have always consumed, commuted, and otherwise carried on the way we have is not the way forward.

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  24. I feel that the consistent weather patterns in LA does not account for the over-reliance on the automobile for movement in LA. If anything, you would think that people would be more inclined to walk, or get outdoor for different forms of transport. However, the size of the city makes automobiles the easiest form of movement. I also do not think that LA is designed to be a very pedestrian or cyclist friendly city. The lack of effort to improve urban transportation options in LA stems from the variety of other issues the city has to deal with i.e. crime, poverty, housing, etc. However, I feel like the majority of effort is put toward improving freeways, instead of surface streets. Angelenos and visitors are not necessarily accepting of the congestion and traffic headaches caused by automobile reliance, but I think they definitely see it as just a part of living in their city. In this way, it might feel just as monotonous as the weather patterns, but certainly not as welcomed as a sunny day. I also think an important point to consider is the connection between transport and weather patterns in LA. There is a noticeable affect that traffic patterns put on the environment. The daily smog in LA has been getting increasingly worse over the years, but always seems to burn off by midday. I think this connection is interesting and worth exploring more.

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  25. I feel that the consistent weather patterns in LA does not account for the over-reliance on the automobile for movement in LA. If anything, you would think that people would be more inclined to walk, or get outdoor for different forms of transport. However, the size of the city makes automobiles the easiest form of movement. I also do not think that LA is designed to be a very pedestrian or cyclist friendly city. The lack of effort to improve urban transportation options in LA stems from the variety of other issues the city has to deal with i.e. crime, poverty, housing, etc. However, I feel like the majority of effort is put toward improving freeways, instead of surface streets. Angelenos and visitors are not necessarily accepting of the congestion and traffic headaches caused by automobile reliance, but I think they definitely see it as just a part of living in their city. In this way, it might feel just as monotonous as the weather patterns, but certainly not as welcomed as a sunny day. I also think an important point to consider is the connection between transport and weather patterns in LA. There is a noticeable affect that traffic patterns put on the environment. The daily smog in LA has been getting increasingly worse over the years, but always seems to burn off by midday. I think this connection is interesting and worth exploring more.
    -Martha Hall

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  26. I feel that the consistent weather patterns in LA does not account for the over-reliance on the automobile for movement in LA. If anything, you would think that people would be more inclined to walk, or get outdoor for different forms of transport. However, the size of the city makes automobiles the easiest form of movement. I also do not think that LA is designed to be a very pedestrian or cyclist friendly city. The lack of effort to improve urban transportation options in LA stems from the variety of other issues the city has to deal with i.e. crime, poverty, housing, etc. However, I feel like the majority of effort is put toward improving freeways, instead of surface streets. Angelenos and visitors are not necessarily accepting of the congestion and traffic headaches caused by automobile reliance, but I think they definitely see it as just a part of living in their city. In this way, it might feel just as monotonous as the weather patterns, but certainly not as welcomed as a sunny day. I also think an important point to consider is the connection between transport and weather patterns in LA. There is a noticeable affect that traffic patterns put on the environment. The daily smog in LA has been getting increasingly worse over the years, but always seems to burn off by midday. I think this connection is interesting and worth exploring more.

    -Martha Hall

    Like

  27. I feel that the consistent weather patterns in LA does not account for the over-reliance on the automobile for movement in LA. If anything, you would think that people would be more inclined to walk, or get outdoors for different forms of transport. However, the size of the city makes automobiles the easiest form of movement. I also do not think that LA is designed to be a very pedestrian or cyclist friendly city. The lack of effort to improve urban transportation options in LA stems from the variety of other issues the city has to deal with i.e. crime, poverty, housing, etc. However, I feel like the majority of effort is put toward improving freeways, instead of surface streets. Angelenos and visitors are not necessarily accepting of the congestion and traffic headaches caused by automobile reliance, but I think they definitely see it as just a part of living in their city. In this way, it might feel just as monotonous as the weather patterns, but certainly not as welcomed as a sunny day. I also think an important point to consider is the connection between transport and weather patterns in LA. There is a noticeable effect that traffic patterns put on the environment. The daily smog in LA has been getting increasingly worse over the years, but always seems to burn off by midday. I think this connection is interesting and worth exploring more.

    Like

  28. The attitude of “things are the way they are” definitely is a contributing factor to the acceptance of the overly congested traffic and reliance on cars to get by. People often don’t recognize the novelty of what is right in front of them. Whether it is beautiful weather or bad traffic conditions. This almost passive acceptance and lack of a drive for change may additionally be attributed to the difficulty of changing something as major and ingrained in millions of people’s everyday life. Not only is it considered normal and embraced by those that are used to it, but it is also expanding and growing. People from other parts of the country are aware of the Los Angeles car culture. I have heard many people say things along the lines of, “Oh, that’s just what to expect in California” or “That’s just how people from California drive.” This excuses the current traffic system while at the same time denying the option and potential for a change towards the better.

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  29. Los Angeles is a dense urban city, that is constantly grid lock with too many vehicles on the roads, which results in a lack of public transportation movement within the megalopolis. The locals and visitors of Los Angeles are a custom to this vehicular congestion within the city and plan their day accordingly with traffic delays in mind. Obviously, the locals and residents of Los Angeles are more accepting to the monotonous congestion on the roads than the visitors but even the weekend warriors know that the traffic in Los Angeles is no secret and is not to be underestimated. I believe Angelenos are immune to the traffic delays and are aware of how long their commute will take them to their destination. It is the same phenomena of monotony that goes for their perfect climate weather all year long and how they are accustomed to that lifestyle. Maybe, it’s hopefully wishing but I see the future of Los Angeles not having to deal with gridlock city roads, lack of movement and congestion within their megalopolis. When explaining the traffic problems Los Angeles is accustomed to, it makes you question their urban transportation options within the city. If Los Angeles had a more effective bus rapid lane and implemented a light rail system into their city, there roads wouldn’t be so congested.

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  30. I believe that the people of Los Angeles have just accepted and normalized the congestion, thus explaining the lack of serious movement to improve the urban transportation options. These conditions have been around for so long that people take them into consideration when moving or visiting. For example, any time I plan to visit LA, I know I will have to add a few extra hours going to and from my trip solely because of the traffic. It is the way it is with the traffic in LA, and due to this and how long they have dealt with the congestion, I do not think they will fix this issue anytime soon because of the overall acceptance.

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  31. Visitors and especially citizens of Los Angeles have unconsciously accepted the bad transportation. Visitors already expect the long car rides and look past it to enjoy their time as best they can. Then the people who want to become a Los Angles citizen allow themselves to meet the city’s expectations in high taxes, having a car, and other conveniences. The transportation problem is not expected to change because the city is too congested with people and is the only way, for now, to have some sort of control. Everyone in the US knows that in order to enjoy Los Angles is to have a car to go to your destinations and its almost like a staple.

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  32. I don’t think that the weather in Los Angeles makes the Angelinos accept the heavy traffic, but it does make it easier to deal with. I couldn’t imagine being stuck in LA traffic with Vegas heat! It is expected to take into account the time one will be on the road and one has to plan their day around it. It’s just the way it is. I think that the city planning has a long way to go and implement better transportation systems for its citizens.

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  33. I would say that the traffic situation has to do more about other issues than the weather, The weather helps the situation of being in traffic. However, I think the acceptance of traffic has more to do with the general idea of not feeling that one could make a change in the system. If the people who are affected by traffic (almost everyone) was able to speak up and make some noise and ruckus, then the government would be forced to make solutions. Its easier to just accept things as they are and not change it. It is not to say that people dont care or are lazy, its just life makes people tired. And for the government, its understandable to not be able to think of solutions, as there are so just many people in LA. People are going to have to be heavily affected in order to make new roads and transports, people would have to be moved and compensated.

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  34. I believe Angelenos and visitors accept the congestion and traffic headaches caused by such a total reliance on the automobile. As someone from Istanbul, where the weather and traffic are much worse, I found this so relatable. Los Angeles has a constant temperate and humid climate, except for the short-term exceptions, and it becomes a bit more terrestrial when one goes inland. Living without a car is equivalent to torture in Los Angeles. The spreading of the city over a wide area and population also has a share in this. Even though urban transportation in Los Angeles needs improvement, I don’t think locals would prefer to take public transport since there are other problems.

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  35. I believe many of the people who live and grew up in Los Angeles have of course become used to the traffic jams and lack of transportation; coming to accept these as simple factors of living there. However, I also believe that most of them must feel a need to change it or see it become different and less frustrating. But how are they supposed to achieve this if they are constantly working and busy with other dilemmas of their everyday lives? It is not so easy just wanting change, especially in a giant city like Los Angeles. I also think while people may complain about and generally deal with it, it is readily accepted due to them feeling more comfortable being stuck in traffic in the comfort of their cars rather than with strangers on the bus, the metro or taxis. There is something to be said about how easily the people in Los Angeles adjust to these factors, which brings about the question of what else are they willing to accept in this city?

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  36. I believe that everyone is stuck into their own routines and day to day lives. Deep down, they may want to fix the world in climate change and such. However, at present time, they still decide to use automobiles for transportation. This is why there is a lack of serious movement to improve transportation options. Angelenos and visitors accepted traffic and such because of convenience and routine. If someone lives far away from work, they will decide to drive their car instead of other forms of transportation. It ends up being faster and easier for them.

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  37. I think that on a physical level the monotony of the weather may facilitate Angelos acceptance of the traffic situation. Certainly if the same traffic conditions were applied to Las Vegas in the summer there would be a cause for concern due to the dangerous levels of heat we experience. But ultimately I feel that Los Angeles apparent capitulation to its traffic problems transcends the weather and is more affected by the global state of things. Everyone around the world now pretty much knows that something has to be done with traffic. Not only is it a hinderance to travel in big cities it has also become a burden on earth itself. And even though people all across the globe are starting to address this problem I feel that most people have come to accept this as the current state of affairs and as such even if they are supportive of it still inevitably give into the idea that this will be a slow process and they may never see a complete shift from the current traffic situation in their lifetimes. I think ultimately this is what propels Angelos into the monotony of traffic. Simply put there is way too much to get done now to have the time to sit around and wait for it things to change.

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  38. I believe that the phenomena of monotony about the consistent weather patterns in Greater Los Angeles can also apply to the over-reliance on the automobile in the city. Apparently, the reason people rely on their automobiles so much is because they’re used to it, so it’s not really a problem to them anymore (if it ever was). Many people prefer to just drive their cars around LA to get to where they want probably because it is more convenient. As such, they probably don’t think about how the transportation in the city can be improved beyond what they already have. I believe that this explains the lack of serious movement to improve transportation options in LA; many people don’t think about possible improvements to transportation probably because they don’t think if affects them. Maybe they think that their automobiles are all they need and that they can just use those to go around the city. Maybe they’re used to doing the same song and dance every day, that they never realized how monotonous and repetitive it has become in their everyday lives. I believe that Angelenos are accepting of the monotony of traffic jams and total reliance on the automobile like the persistent sunny weather in LA for all the reasons stated and because they probably don’t think that they can do much to affect any of it. Those people likely know that they can’t change the weather of the city and they probably also treat the traffic and transportation situations the same way; they think that a change that big is beyond their power and, like the everyday weather, they just accept it for what it is. They probably believe that, as the saying goes, “it is what it is.”

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