How to Avoid LA Traffic

How To Avoid LA Traffic


Los Angeles is a car-based city, and the 13 million people in the metro area are well aware. With that many people mostly travelling on the roads, a scarcity problem eventually manifests, and the result is a nearly never-ending sea of traffic at any given time in LA. Angelenos have generally accepted that SoCal traffic is part of life, though many have a few good methods to avoid the rush. We reached out to some experienced L.A. drivers who had a few ideas for avoiding traffic in the city for new residents. If you’re moving to L.A. soon, write down these traffic-avoidance tips:

 

1. WALK IT OUT

2. Take the TRAIN CAME A ROLLIN’

3. GET TO THE CHOPPER

4. Be Right on time

5. BE RESOURCEFUL

 

1. WALK IT OUT

“My advice to a person moving to L.A. is to seek a residence that is close to where you'll be working or conducting your main activity.” UCLA film graduate Murray Suid tells us. “I found an apartment [where I] could walk to classes (20 minutes) and walk to grocery and other stores (10 minutes) to eliminate the uncertainty of driving.”

If you can plan your living and work situation well enough, living close enough by to the vital places you need to go in your life opens up the option of walking, another great way to avoid traffic. For places slightly further than walking distance away, you can also take a bike ride. Walking or biking around L.A. is a great way to get around while avoiding traffic and getting good exercise. For more advice on bicycling in L.A., read our full guide with the man who (literally) wrote the book on L.A. biking.

 

LA Train System

 

2. Take the TRAIN CAME A ROLLIN’

You wouldn’t know it, but L.A. does have a useful train system. The trains run a bit sporadically, but in the end, get the job done (as long as you’re going from one point on the system to another.) For travel closer to the city center, the Metro only costs $1.75 and takes you to many points in the city without ever hitting any traffic. For those taking a slightly longer trip, the MetroLink stops in many of the areas outside L.A. like Ventura, Anaheim and San Bernardino. Usually, the train takes longer than a straightforward drive to most destinations, but the cost of parking and the time lost in traffic jams can make the train ride worth it a lot of the time.

 

3. GET TO THE CHOPPER

That’s right: you can order helicopters on-demand in L.A. As notorious L.A. photographer Michael Freeby tells us, the would-be heli-rider has a number of options when looking to fly over L.A. There’s an app called BLADE, on which users can order discount private helicopter rides on-demand. The popular ridesharing app Uber also offers on-demand helicopter rides in L.A. with “UberChopper”, a literal “uber for helicopters”. Freeby advises any helicopter enthusiasts to try Coastal Helicopters, though it may be less accessible than UberChopper or Blade. All of the above are options to the L.A. traveller annoyed by traffic and seemingly okay with splurging for a helicopter ride.

 

LA Traffic Jam

 

4. Be Right on time

If you must drive around in L.A., you can try avoiding traffic by driving around at unorthodox hours. Keep in mind traffic is caused by a lot of people trying to do the same thing at the same time. If you avoid the most common driving hours, ie rush hour, and get your driving done late at night or early in the morning, you can avoid traffic. This isn’t a foolproof method, but most of the time strategic timing can help you avoid the rush.
“I'd wait until 10:00 PM so that I could get out of town--via the 405--without getting into a jam.” Suid says. “But even in the middle of the night, there can be problems.”

 

5. BE RESOURCEFUL

Plenty of resources are available to the L.A. driver in their quest to avoid traffic. One of the most popular is the app Waze, a navigation app with very detailed traffic mapping that recalculates its routing based on traffic. Waze shows users traffic conditions along their route and causes of any delays - such as road work, accidents, or police presence. Waze isn’t the only resource available to L.A. drivers

I use sigalert.com to check freeway traffic almost everyday,” Ana Rojas, AKA theComfyCommuter, tells us. “ I either avoid driving at those times, or I take side streets I know will save me time - if side streets are available. For example, when I drive from downtown LA to Griffith park to hike, I take side streets that take me 20 minutes. Otherwise it is about 55 minutes on the freeway.” 
Utilize any resources available that can show traffic conditions and alternate, lesser known routes. Knowing both is a great way to steer clear of traffic, but takes the most up-to-date, robust, and useful resources.



 

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