City Roads, Take Me Home... Please

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First the Raiders leave, and now this. The battered civic pride of Los Angeles took yet another hit Tuesday when the American Highway Users Alliance released its list of the 18 worst traffic bottlenecks in the country. The most horrifying place to be stuck during rush hour? The infamous intersection of Interstate 405 and I-10 in Los Angeles, followed by hot spots in Houston, Seattle, Boston and the Washington/Maryland beltway.

While no one disagrees that traffic is getting worse all over the country, there isn't a whole lot of consensus on what can be done to unclog our thoroughfares. Ideally, we'll attack the problem from a variety of angles, says TIME senior writer Richard Lacayo. "Different cities will try different combinations of fixes," Lacayo says. "Some communities, like Portland, have created 'greenbelts' that surround the city and contain new development. Other cities are pushing for light rail systems." Not surprisingly, proponents of development want to build new roads and expand those that exist; alternative transportation advocates and environmentalists argue that new roads simply attract new cars, leading to more overcrowding. These folks want to see new forms of transport in our cities: more monorails and subways, and, of course, fewer automobiles. "The real challenge here is getting people out of their cars," says Lacayo. "And that's quite a difficult task."