Los Angeles locals like myself need to know secrets and alternative routes to survive the crushing traffic. Rush hour is brutal and normal traffic isn’t much of a relief. Here are five insider ways to avoid L.A. traffic jams on the Hollywood freeway southbound at Vermont Avenue.
The first suggestion is obvious, but many people over look it. The freeway is packed southbound for the morning commute, starting at about 7:30 AM, ending about 10 AM. Avoid this time if at all possible. The entire freeway will be packed. Try leaving early and having a bite to eat or some coffee when you arrive. The trip at 7 AM will take 15 minutes. If you wait til 8 AM, it will take you an hour. So leave early and avoid the rush.
Take Alternate Routes
Many surface streets will get you from the Valley or Hollywood area, some even run along the freeway. Sunset Blvd. itself goes all the way to downtown and is an interesting drive. We also love Temple Street, which Beverly Blvd. becomes. You can take any of the major streets southbound to Beverly, then take Beverly Blvd. east, continue onto Temple Street and to downtown.
Use Public Transportation
Many buses serve the area and this route. Or try the subway. Check the Southern California Metro Site for all the schedules, maps and info. Los Angeles has an excellent subway system, as long as you want to go to the specific areas it serves. The route from North Hollywood, through Universal City, through Hollywood and then to downtown Los Angeles is served by the Red Line train, and its great. While commuters are sitting on the southbound Hollywood freeway during the morning rush hour, you can make it from Universal City to downtown Los Angeles in about 20 minutes, with no stress.
Use A Different Freeway
If you need to get from the Valley or Universal City to downtown, you have an alternative. You can take the 134 freeway east through Burbank to the 5 freeway south. You take the 5 south, pass the LA Zoo until the 110 south, right after the exit for Dodger Stadium. The 110 south takes you right into downtown Los Angeles and actually re-connects with the 101 southbound.
If you don’t have any alternative, drive smarter. Keep space in front of you so you’re not starting and stopping constantly. Move to the left lane, as traffic slows at Vermont for cars exiting and also entering the freeway, avoid this by driving in the left lane. Check the SigAlert site or other freeway traffic maps before you leave. Many mobile phones also now have traffic apps, so find out what the traffic situation is before you venture onto the freeway. Check the radio, local AM stations KFWB 980 and KNX 1070 both have frequent local traffic updates, usually at least every ten minutes.
Use these suggestions to save time whether you have a one-time meeting or must make this commute on a daily basis. Always try to leave yourself extra time so you don’t need to rush, keep a positive attitude behind the wheel and drive safely.