LA residents feel commuter pain the most

Fri Sep 4, 2009 12:50am EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Los Angeles has the sun, sea and Hollywood but its residents experience some of the worst commuting in the country, according to a new poll.

In an IBM survey of 4,446 drivers in 10 U.S. metropolitan areas, Los Angeles ranked at the top of the commuter pain index, ahead of Washington DC, Miami, Chicago and Boston.

It scored high marks on 10 key commuting complaints including time, traffic, congestion, stress, anger and impact on work in the survey designed to gauge the emotional toll of commuting.

New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas-Fort Worth and Minneapolis-St Paul were in the bottom half of the index.

"The causes of traffic congestion are many, and experts agree there is no 'one size fits all' solution," IBM said in the report.

Start-start traffic was the most frustrating aspect of commuting with 44 percent of drivers naming it as their main complaint, followed by 32 percent who listed aggressive or rude drivers.

More than a third of drivers said they had canceled trips in the last month because of the anticipated traffic.

Although 52 percent of people said road traffic had gotten worse in the last three years and 16 percent think it is much worse, the figures are an improvement on last year's poll when 63 percent complained of deteriorating conditions.   Continued...

<p>Traffic passes downtown Los Angeles on the 10 freeway November 19, 2005. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>