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]

Amazon Customers Are Swearing by a $102 Mattress

Linenspa
Linenspa

Before you go out and spend hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars on a new mattress, you may want to turn to Amazon. According to Esquire, one of the most comfortable mattresses on the market isn’t from Tempur-Pedic, Casper, or IKEA. It’s a budget mattress you can buy on Amazon for as little as $102.

Linenspa's 8-inch memory foam and innerspring hybrid mattress has more than 24,000 customer reviews on Amazon, and 72 percent of those buyers gave it five stars. The springs are topped by memory foam and a quilted top layer that make it, according to one customer, a “happy medium of both firm and plush.”

Linenspa

Perhaps because of its cheap price point, many people write that they first purchased it for their children or their guest room, only to find that it far exceeded their comfort expectations. One reviewer who bought it for a guest room wrote that “it is honestly more comfortable than the expensive mattress we bought for our room.” Pretty impressive for a bed that costs less than some sheet sets.

Getting a good night's sleep is vital for your health and happiness, so do yourself a favor and make sure your snooze is as comfortable as possible.

The mattress starts at $102 for a twin and goes up to $200 for a king. Check it out on Amazon.

[h/t Esquire]

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Tenino, Washington, Is Loaning Residents Wooden Money to Boost Its Economy

Pixabay, Pexels
Pixabay, Pexels

Like many places around the country, Tenino, Washington, has taken a financial hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of writing checks to residents in need, the town is printing its own money on wood in an effort to boost the local economy, CNN reports.

Any Tenino resident living below the poverty line can apply for a wooden currency loan. To qualify, they must prove they lost money as a result of the pandemic, but as town mayor Wayne Fournier told The Hustle, “we’re pretty open to what that means.”

One wooden note is worth $25, and qualified candidates can receive up to 12 of them per month—the equivalent of $300. The dollars look unique, with a retro design and a Latin inscription that roughly translates to “We’ve got this handled.” But the special money serves a larger purpose: The notes are only valid at local businesses, which ensures spenders keep the cash within the local economy instead of giving it to major retailers. When a transaction has been made, business owners can take the currency to City Hall and exchange it for real U.S. currency.

This isn't Tenino's first time enduring economic hardship. By 1931, America had entered the Great Depression, and the town's local Citizens Bank had frozen all accounts. Tenino responded by printing its first run of wooden dollars that year. That original program, which was funded by the local Chamber of Commerce instead of the town government, allowed residents to exchange up to 25 percent of their bank deposits for the wooden notes.

Today the bills from the 1930s are collector's items. The town had that part of its history in mind when it launched its new alternative currency program; the wooden dollars circulating today were even printed using the same newspaper press used to make the wooden money 90 years ago.

[h/t CNN]