FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Bumper-To-Bumper Traffic On A 19-Lane Los Angeles Freeway?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows heavy traffic congestion on a 19-lane freeway in Los Angeles.



Verdict: False

The picture, which dates back to 1998, has been digitally manipulated to add more lanes of traffic and cars.

Fact Check:

The Facebook post shows what appears to be an aerial shot of massive congestion spanning 19 lanes, plus additional bumper-to-bumper traffic on an adjacent street. The image has also been widely shared on Twitter over the years, with many users appearing to believe the image of Interstate 405 is genuine.

One Facebook user commented, “Until you’ve sat on the 405 in LA, you haven’t experienced ‘traffic,'” while a Twitter user wrote in part, “I sure miss that California traffic.” (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show Los Angeles County Public Health Director Looking Sickly)

Known for having heavy traffic, California’s Interstate 405 is a major highway that runs from San Fernando through the Los Angeles metropolitan area to Irvine, according to Google Maps. It is one of the busiest highways in the U.S., according to average annual daily traffic figures from the Office of Highway Policy Information.

The image being shared online has been photoshopped to add lanes and cars to the freeway. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found the original picture. In the unaltered picture, there are fewer lanes and cars on the interstate, as well as more foliage around it. The photo, which dates to 1998, shows a “view from the Getty Center,” a popular museum in Los Angeles, according to its caption.

Real images of various parts of Interstate 405 can be found on Getty Images and Reuters Pictures.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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