Traffic is getting worse, blame the economy

By Mara Pometti

Here’s how many more cars have come on the road in the last few years. Between 2013 and 2016 the car volume has increased of 16.4%.

What do we mean by car volume? We calculated the number of cars that pass over a freeway sensor every 30 seconds. We examined data for the four years from 2013-2016. Then we created an average for each year. (2017 data is still not available.)

Why so many more cars? We wondered if it was just a sign of an improving economy. So we combined the car volume data in Los Angeles county with the Los Angeles County unemployment rate. 

As the economy improved, the traffic got worse. The two are inversely correlated. So, next time you’re stuck on the freeway, just remember, it’s probably just a sign of a healthy economy.