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If You're Not In Traffic Right Now, You'd Know What Concerns LA County Residents Most

STEVENSON RANCH ( — It's infuriating and inescapable and once again traffic is a top concern of Los Angeles County residents.

That's according to a new survey that found that more of us worry traffic and congestion over other concerns, like crime, the economy, or finding a decent place to live.

Thomas Lynch, a local driver, says he spends about three hours each day commuting to and from work. He keeps close tabs on his commuting times and expenses.

As does Lilac Atassi.

She spends 10 or more hours a week commuting to college. Atassi says her biggest concern living in Southern California is the traffic and congestion.

"Time is money. I would rather be doing something beneficial to myself," she said. "It's time taken out of my life."

Atassi and Lynch aren't the only ones to spend 10 or more hours commuting in their cars every week.

In fact, a new USC Dornsife/L.A. Times poll shows that more than half of those who live in L.A. County named traffic and congestion as their top concern about living here.

That was far more than those who said they're most concerned with crime, making ends meet, or unaffordable housing.

That could be good news for supporters of the Metro Commuter Rail System.

This week, one of the flurry of bills signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown would clear the way for a Nov. 2016 ballot proposition that would impose a half-cent increase in the county sales tax.

The money would be used to continue construction of the Metro system after the funding-approved by voters in 2008 runs out.

The decision to actually put the issue on the ballot hasn't been made yet.

Chiropractor Ed Simon, who spends about 7 ½ hours a week commuting, thinks it's a good idea.

"I think the only long-term answer is figuring out a way to get people on public transportation. I think the problem we have is the transition from our cars to the public transportation," he said.

L.A. County voters have approved half-cent sales increases three times in recent history: 1981, 1991, and 2008.

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