Tips to Navigate LA Traffic to Catch Your Flight On Time
The city of Los Angeles is known for a lot of things, but excellent traffic conditions is not one of them. In LA, gridlocked streets are the rule not the exception. If it’s between 4 and 7 p.m. on a weekday, you can fully expect to triple your commute time no matter where you are in the city.
To make matters worse, with such congested streets and a lack of routes, traffic patterns can be unpredictable, and it’s not uncommon to find yourself stuck in traffic at a completely odd hour, like 11:00 at night. LA is also the city of events, and any given week could bring the disruption of anything from a downtown concert to a presidential visit.
As a rule of thumb if you absolutely can’t afford to be late, give yourself an extra hour to get there.
A trip to airport is one of those times you can’t be late, and unfortunately, as bad as LA traffic is, LAX is right in the middle of it. There are no hard and fast rules for the best routes to take because traffic is going to be unavoidable. But there are a few pieces of advice that could come in handy for any traveler:
Inbound from the North
The largest factor to consider while traveling to LAX is time. Remember, all the roads are bad, but sometimes they become parking lots. If you’re traveling to LAX North to South, the 405 is the best possible route to take, but only in the afternoons and evenings. Most people are headed North on the 405 at the time to return home from the city, and the 405—in all of its recently upgraded splendor—is a multi-laned beast designed to accommodate that congestion.
Coming from the North, stay on the 405 almost all the way there, but get off at the 42 instead of at the West Century Boulevard exit. West Century is the closest exit, which means it’s also the most congested. The 42 exit is only one exit before that, but it makes all the difference when navigating to the airport.
If your flight is leaving in the morning, stay off the 405 at all costs—it’s a nightmare. The 110 also won’t get you anywhere. Stay on the local roads. La Cienega and Jefferson Boulevard are your best options.
Inbound from the South
The 405 is the worst place to be if you’re inbound from the South in the morning. If you have an early flight to catch at LAX, the 110 is a little better, and so is the 605. One of the best things you can do is take 39 then head west on Alandra, North on 110, then East on 105, then North on Sepulveda.
Any other time but the morning, just stick to the 405 or the 1.
Inbound from the East
Most travelers to LAX commute from the East which means avoiding traffic while traveling West to LAX is the most difficult. In the morning, every single freeway is jammed, and most of the alternative routes are too. The best thing you is avoid 10 West, which is one of the busiest highways in the entire country at that time; the 210 is also rough. You should also avoid Santa Monica Boulevard, which is also packed because it’s the first road people flock to avoid the freeways. Your best bet is to try smaller local roads like West Slauson Avenue then La Tijera then South Sepulveda.
If you’re traveling in the morning, really the best thing you can do is add at least two extra hours to your travel time. It’s horrifying, but the good news is, any other time you can stick to the freeways and be fine.
Traveling in Los Angeles is an art and not one that anyone particularly enjoys. Mastering the roads takes years of dedication and insider knowledge and experience. The professional chauffeurs at Coolride are have just that. Rather than attempting to navigate the mess that is Los Angeles road travel, leave the hard work to the pros who know how to get you where you need to go, safely and on time, while enjoying unrivaled comfort.photo credit: waltarrrrr via photopin cc