No matter where you live, you are bound to encounter traffic. However, nothing compares to Los Angeles. This city has traffic on steroids.
Imagine the following scenario: You are driving to a destination that without traffic, is twenty minutes away. As you round the corner to hop onto the freeway, you encounter a wall of brake lights. Frustrating? Yes. Insurmountable? No.
Over my twenty plus years in Los Angeles, I’ve lived in six different locations, worked in twice that many places and have gotten lost more times that I can count. These adventures have taught me one important lesson in regards to navigating through Los Angeles traffic: One wrong turn and you’re screwed. So learn from my mistakes and mishaps and memorize these handy short cuts.
Best advice: Carpool. Notice the attached picture wherein the carpool lane is completely open. However, sometimes you can’t. So, when you can’t zip down the carpool lane you must have a mental file of shortcuts at your disposal. Not only will these cut-throughs and side steps save you time, they will also make your trip safer and more relaxed.
The Olympic Westside Slide: If you want to get from anywhere on the west side of Los Angeles to Downtown quickly, try this amazing short cut. Olympic Boulevard runs all the way from Santa Monica to Downtown. When the 10 Freeway is jammed or during especially congested times, take any road off of the 10 Freeway north. Then follow Olympic to your destination. You can even hop on the 110 Freeway and zip up to Pasadena. Note: Stay in the center or right lanes to avoid most traffic on Olympic.
Beverly Glen Twist: Yes, it is circuitous but once you get to the top of Mullholland Drive, you can take any one of the canyons to your location of choice. Beverly Glen drops you right into the heart of Westwood above UCLA. Take a left on Sunset and you’re in Beverly Hills. Take a right and you’ll go toward Brentwood and straight ahead is Westwood.
Braddock Blast: If you need to go from Venice Beach, Marina del Rey or Playa del Rey to the 405 quickly, try this one. Take Culver Blvd. heading east and veer right on to Braddock Avenue Follow Braddock to Sepulveda and take a left up Washington Blvd. This route is the fastest way I know to go east-even during peak traffic times!
Miliary and Veteran March: If you continually get caught in Sepulveda snarls traveling north from Culver City to Westwood, try this sneaky way to sidestep even the worst case traffic scenario. Take Venice Boulevard to Military Avenue then jog over one street-Veteran is one block east of Military and follow all the way into Westwood.
Fountain Rush: Whether you are on Santa Monica Blvd. or Sunset, nothing can be more frustrating that getting gridlocked in mid commute. Fountain Avenue runs parallel to both roads and offers a much clearer path. Go east on Fountain from La Cienega and take it all the way to Echo Park. Note: Fountain turns into Hyperion Avenue and runs into Silverlake. This is a great way to see some incredible restored old Hollywood mansions, too.
Remember that it is best to consult maps and use common sense when following directions. Roads may be closed and obey all posted speed signs. And NEVER drive on the shoulder-shortcuts are about saving time, not breaking the law!