The World's Most Congested City Is Right Here in America

David McNew, Newsmakers/Getty Images
David McNew, Newsmakers/Getty Images

Los Angeles is famous for its clogged freeways, but even Angelenos might not realize just how justified their complaints about sitting in traffic are. Not only does L.A. have the worst traffic in the U.S., it has the worst traffic in the world, according to an international study spotted by Travel + Leisure.

It’s the sixth time that L.A. has topped the INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, an annual analysis of traffic across 1360 cities in 38 countries. INRIX, a Washington-state-based company that provides transportation and connected-car analytics, found that in 2017 the average Angeleno spent 102 hours sitting in traffic jams during peak hours. This idling time likely cost these drivers around $2800 in extra fuel over the course of the year, making traffic a waste of more than just time.

Los Angeles obviously isn’t the only city with bad traffic. Both Muscovites and New Yorkers sat in traffic for 91 hours over the course of the year. New York’s Cross Bronx Expressway was named the most congested single roadway in the country, with drivers spending 118 hours per year stuck on the 4.7-mile-long roadway. Five of the 10 top cities for traffic congestion were located in the U.S. as San Francisco (5), Atlanta (8), and Miami (10) all made the list.

On the bright side, there’s reason to think that L.A., at least, will eventually clean up its highways a bit, freeing up some time for its car-bound residents. Despite its reputation as a city without reliable transit options, L.A. has made some big strides in the last few years when it comes to expanding public transportation. The city is pushing particularly hard to open 28 new transit projects before the summer Olympics come to town in 2028. Unfortunately, it’s still far from having a super user-friendly transit network—despite its expansion projects, the system is currently losing riders. Looks like it may be a while before everything's moving in the right direction.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

Foster Families Can Shop for Free Clothing at This Western New York Charity

There are nearly 438,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, and many of them come to their foster families needing clothes and shoes. Erin Richeal, Cheryl Flick, and Kara Brody, three foster parents from western New York, have gotten together to start a free clothing bank dedicated to providing foster kids with the wardrobe staples they need, WGRZ reports.

Foster Love Closet is a free clothing bank located in the Town Line Lutheran Church in Alden, New York, and it's now collecting donations. Open two days a week, the foster kid charity allows foster families to pick up a week's worth of kids' clothing at a time. Items like shirts and pants, as well as extra necessities like coats, socks, shoes, underwear, and pajamas, are set up in the charity's 2000-square-foot space. All socks and underwear are brand new, and any other items are either new or gently used.

There's something for foster kids of all ages, from infants to older teens. Foster parents with valid placement papers and a photo ID are welcome to pick up clothes for their foster kids four times a year, or whenever a new child moves into their home. Families are encouraged to bring their foster kids along to "shop" for the free clothes.

If you're looking to contribute to the Foster Love Closet's inventory, the center is now accepting clothes free of rips, holes, and stains that are appropriate for the spring and summer months. You can also support them by purchasing something off their Amazon wishlist.

[h/t WGRZ]

FYI: The FDA Has Ceased Its Food Inspections Le Moal Le Moal

It may be safe to eat romaine lettuce again, but The Hill is reporting that the FDA is suspending "most food inspections" amid the current partial government shutdown.

As the government shutdown rounds out its third week, the effects have begun to take a toll on both minor and major scales. Government workers are missing paychecks, affordable housing contracts are expiring, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not able to cover all of its usual duties. According to the official FDA website, around 55 percent of their $5.4 billion budget comes directly from federal funding, with the other 45 percent coming from industry user fees.

With fewer resources for protecting the nation's food supply, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb has had to delegate most workers to investigate "high risk facilities," such as those that produce seafood or cheese.

In 2018, nearly a dozen different products were cited for salmonella contamination, including raw turkey, pre-cut melon, and even Honey Smacks cereal. The FDA also warned of a possible salmonella outbreak from eggs last May.

Though the FDA will continue to inspect foreign manufacturers and products, the agency generally conducts roughly 160 food inspections per week. They look for any possible contamination due to various unclean circumstances, and that is only the beginning of a much longer process if foods actually need to be recalled. The FDA also investigates cases sent to them by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); after an illness or outbreak has been reported, the FDA works to trace where the contaminant could have come from before recalling and pulling problematic products from the shelves. All of this takes a lot of work, as we recently reported.

[h/t The Hill]