Los Angeles is known around the world for bad traffic. Mornings and evenings alike see stand-stills on freeways across Los Angeles County as commuters go to and from work.
According to a study released in February by transportation analyst INRIX, Los Angeles has the worst traffic in the world. In 2017, drivers in or near Los Angeles spent 102 hours wading through congestion during peak hours.
Last week, we gave you five freeway sections to avoid at all costs if spending less time on your commute is your goal. Here’s the rest of our List.
Generally speaking, evening traffic is worse than in the morning. However, INRIX’s worst stretch of freeway is the most clogged in Los Angeles during the early morning hours. Travel time between Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Downtown Los Angeles can stretch to 90 minutes right around 8 a.m., which can be demoralizing before a long work day. A full hour longer than freeflow travel times, it’s easy to see why INRIX found this painful stretch to be L.A’s absolute worst commute.
Another morning jam brings the 5 Freeway to a standstill between Buena Park and DTLA. During freeflow hours, that journey takes only 20 minutes, but mornings can see it become an hour-long slog. However, since the drive is just shy of 20 miles, the 40-minute increase might seem perfectly acceptable, given the distance. You’re free to take your chances, but INRIX warns that the worst day to try it is on Tuesday.
By this point, you should be well-aware that the 5 Freeway is nearly unnavigable during rush hour. But unlike most freeways, where direction and time of day makes a difference, the 5 North is pretty much a parking lot during both the morning and the evening commutes. The drive from Irvine to Olympic Boulevard goes from half an hour to 80 minutes just after 5 p.m., with Thursdays being the absolute worst day to travel.
A resident of the San Fernando Valley once joked to me that he was considering taking a job on the Westside, but then he sobered up. I didn’t understand the joke until I tried the morning commute myself and found an 8-minute drive between Roscoe Boulevard and Mulholland Drive turn into 54 minutes of automotive torture. Jokes aside, that’s one of the biggest delays in the INRIX study, especially when you take into account the relatively short distance.
But of all the crazy driving delays I’ve had to tackle, there’s one that’s caused me more headaches than any other. Leaving Downtown Los Angeles in the evening can turn the 5-minute drive between the 110/10 Junction and Stadium Way into 30 minutes of sitting in traffic. That’s only 4 miles, most of which is spent entirely within the confines of DTLA. You’re better off taking side streets if you have to make this drive, but if you’d rather brave it, at least there’s a killer view of L.A.’s concrete jungle to keep you company.