The most meaningful stat in the Times' Sunday page one story about the Westside's awful traffic is that it takes an average of nineteen minutes to travel one mile on Wilshire Boulevard at rush hour. I know that stretch — heading east from Brentwood to the 405 freeway and Westwood. It has gotten markedly worse in the past few years, and is one big reason the Wilshire Rapid Bus fails to live up to its name. I can only imagine what the bottleneck will be like if the feds go forth with leasing government land at the corner of Wilshire and San Vicente (ground zero of the traffic jam) for a high-rise office tower. [Ed.note: Don't forget the mixed-use high-rise going up at Wilshire and Barrington, in place of Michael's Shoes.]
Other eye-grabbing stats: 288,000 vehicles a day drive the 405 past La Tijera Boulevard, and 227,026 use the Santa Monica Freeway at Bundy Drive (the freeway often backs up eastbound all the way to the ocean by 3:30 pm.) Thirty thousand vehicles pass through the intersection of Lincoln and Manchester boulevards during rush hour alone. These stats, of course, are all before the full impact of Playa Vista kicks in. I don't know anyone who's looking forward to that.
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Photo of I-405 at Palms Boulevard: LA Observed