The enduring L.A. holiday tradition: Terrible traffic

The grizzled Southern California commuter knows the day before Thanksgiving is going to be a nightmare. And 2016 is living up to expectations.

As of Friday afternoon, unusually bad traffic was reported on most Los Angeles-area freeways. It prompted the California Highway Patrol to put out this public service announcement: “Thanksgiving travel tip: Put on your #PatientPants prior to driving. Lost your patient pants? Hold off on driving.”

With gas prices low, more travelers are expected to be on the road for the holidays. And a Google survey found that in Los Angeles, Wednesday afternoon truly is the witching hour for Thanksgiving traffic.

This year’s Thanksgiving traffic even has a meme — provided by KABC-TV on Tuesday night. It showed utterly stalled traffic on the 405 Freeway in the Westside.

It all feels new when you are stuck in gridlock. But L.A. residents have been complaining about pre-Thanksgiving traffic for decades. In 1969, The Times reported on the parking lot that was the Hollywood Freeway as drivers tried to flee downtown for a suburban Thanksgiving.

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