chapter  9
26 Pages

Rolling to a Stop: The Weight of Traffic

Intheyea;·sfollowingitscompletion,theSpaghettiBowl

became<~nightmare.Thebuiltforatownof300,000 servedacornmunityofmorethanI.4million,and"clogged"didn'tbegin

todescribeitscondition.Thenumberofcarsthatnavigatedthatinter-

changeeachday,whochangedfromonefreewaytotheother,grewsofast

thattrafficcametoacompletehalt.AsLasVegasexpandedtothenorth-

west,threelanesofstoppedcarsstretchedbackformilestothewesteach

inyoureyesinmorethanroodegreeheatsurelyconstituted hell.EventhoughLasVegansinI999spentanaverageof hoursperyeargridlockedintraffic,afarcryfromLosAngeles'snation-

leadingeighty-twoandaboutthesameascitieslikeNorfolk,Virginia,and

Minneapolis-St.Paul,LasVegas'sonefreewayfeltlikeitmightrivalLos

Angeles'smany.