This was written and submitted by Lisë Davis. Patch accepts opinion pieces on any relevant local topic. Your submission may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a piece to Patch, email it to the site editor.
My husband and I moved from two miles east of the 405 Freeway to two miles west of the 405 Freeway nearly four years ago. In the past three years, the traffic situation in our new neighborhood has only steadily gotten worse, and to the point where we are thinking of leaving Los Angeles. I was born here. My husband has lived here for over 40 years. I cannot imagine leaving, but I cannot imagine staying here if something does not change for the better.
To travel east from our home in Brentwood after 2:30 p.m. is beyond painful and nearly impossible. What would normally be a twenty minute commute turns into an hour. Last month, I left my home to travel east bound for dinner in West Los Angeles. I left my house at 5:00 p.m. and after sitting in basically gridlock traffic for over an hour, I turned around and headed home, having traveled less than one mile. It has gotten to the point where my husband and I feel trapped on an island without the ability to leave. As my husband has said, “We’re prisoners in our own home between 2:30-7:30 p.m. nearly every day.”
I find it ironic that there was a community meeting regarding the I-405 Project, scheduled by Metro, on Friday March 23 in Westwood from 6-8 p.m. My neighbors and I all laughed, though it was not in the least bit funny, that Metro actually thought any of us living west of the 405 would be able to attend at that hour. It could not have been more clear to us just how clueless our city planners are about what the reality of the traffic problem truly is for the communities living west of the 405 Freeway.
I am not renewing our season tickets for The Ahmanson or for The Mark Taper for the coming season. I am grateful that our children have chosen to attend universities outside of Los Angeles. I am grateful that I no longer have a job that requires me to commute eastbound. We no longer drive east unless we absolutely have to. Instead we head into Santa Monica. Los Angeles is losing out on much needed revenue from the communities west of the 405, and this is at a time when every dime could help our city. We are not alone in our choices here. We have no choice.
I have no idea how it has gotten so bad. I only know that for those of us who live west of the 405 Freeway, we are unable to live our lives the way we would like to. Perhaps it is time to leave. That is a choice we can make, but I really hope we don’t have to.