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Los Angeles

Is traffic in LA really as bad as they say it is?

Coming to LA for work and I'll be staying in Downtown LA.  Driving around is the part I'm most dreading about my trip.  I have morning and midday meetings in Van Nuys, West Covina, and Fullerton that I'll be driving to.  Is traffic really as bad as they say it is?

On Google Maps, it says that it will take me 24 minutes to drive to West Covina.  In real life, how much more time should I factor in say, during lunch time?

And any tips or shortcuts to avoid the heaviest of traffics?

4 Answers

answered first by
Andrew from Manhattan Beach

If you're staying in Downtown LA, you should be in pretty good shape if your meetings are in the morning/noon timeframe.  In the mornings, you'll be going against most of the traffic to get to West Covina, Fullerton and Van Nuys.

You really just don't want to be driving east after 4 or 5pm or you will get to experience the worst of LA traffic, first hand.  

You'll also want to keep an eye on the sports schedules.  The Lakers, Clippers, and Kings all play in downtown (Staples Center), and the Dodgers (Dodger Stadium) are just north from there.  The 10 and 110 can get pretty congested on game days.

After that, you just have to try to react to the unpredictable.  I like to use Waze navigiation app on the iPhone because it's pretty good at notifying you of traffic incidents and it does a good job of re-routing you when possible.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Staples Center (attraction)
  2. Dodger Stadium (attraction)
  3. West Covina (city)
  4. Fullerton (city)
  5. Van Nuys (city)
6 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Lanka from Los Angeles

Yes. It is as bad as they say and even more so.

Google maps can give you an estimated drive time for the current time you are looking up the directions. If you're looking up the drive during non rush hour time then I'd say triple the estimated drive time. If you're looking up the drive time during rush hour, then double the estimated drive time.

I can tell you that your drive from Downtown Los Angeles to Fullerton during mid-day is going to be about 2 hrs. No traffic it will be a 1 hr drive.

Good luck Casey!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Downtown Los Angeles (metro area)
  2. Fullerton (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

I would actually say that rush hour begins even earlier so if you want to be really safe, plan to be finished with driving before about 3 p.m. if you possibly can.

I live in Van Nuys and just getting to the freeway here can take much, much longer than it should. It's a surprisingly congested city for its size so I'd add extra time the day you come here. 

2 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Charles from United Kingdom

Yes it is. The Los Angeles metropolitan area is roughly 50 miles wide by 110 miles long. With things spread out so far a car is almost a necessity, and because our public transportation system is soooooo slow few people use it to travel any distance.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Los Angeles (city)
1 thanks

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