Americans will hit the road in record numbers over the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. According to AAA’s annual forecast, nearly 51 million Americans — the most since 2005 — will travel 50 miles or more to their holiday destinations. And the vast majority of those people (45.5 million) are driving.

The massive volume of people driving around the country to their Thanksgiving feasts is expected to result in record-level travel delays — none more so than here in Southern California. Transportation analytics firm INRIX predicted the biggest bottlenecks in cities over the holidays and topping the list of most congested routes is Interstate 5 through southeast Los Angeles.

But when Southern California commuters return to work after the four-day weekend, they still have to endure daily commutes that rank poorly on a national scale.The Robert Half employment agency surveyed more than 2,700 workers in 27 U.S. metro markets to determine the cities with the longest commute times and the most stressful commutes. It won’t surprise many Southern Californians to learn that our commutes rank as the nation’s most stressful. The survey found that the average commute for a Los Angeles resident comes in at 53.7 minutes and Southern California grabs the number one spot for most stressful trip, due in part to a lack of public transportation options throughout the region.

The study suggests that extensive mass transit options in a region can lower commute anxiety even when travel times are long. For example, San Francisco ranked No. 2 for commute time (59.2 minutes), but its BART system helped lower the city to No. 5 for stress. And subway-loving New York was No. 4 in lengthy commutes (57.9 minutes) but only the ninth most stressful.

The agency noted that commute times rank as a top concern for prospective employees and that stressful commutes can impact job performance for employees across all industries.

To help reduce congestion and improve travel times for commuters, funding — at both the state and local level — is available to support infrastructure and mass transit projects in SoCal:

  • California’s SB-1 boosts transportation spending by $5 billion per year, providing a funding commitment to rebuild state infrastructure and improve traffic flow.
  • Los Angeles’ Measure M enables long-term transportation programs that will expand LA Metro’s rail and rapid transit system, and deliver highway improvements to reduce bottlenecks and ease traffic congestion.

Source: Orange County Register