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 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.
If spending less time in traffic is your goal, here’s which freeways to avoid.
Technically in Orange County, the 91 Eastbound was determined by INRIX to be the worst stretch of freeway in the United States, especially from the Costa Mesa Freeway to McKinley Street. Commutes in that area take just 20 minutes without traffic. But on Fridays, between 4-5 p.m., travel times slow to 81 minutes. Traffic is almost always at its worst on Fridays, just around quitting time.
The Golden State Freeway is known as one of the worse in Los Angeles, but evening commutes are particularly nightmarish. The 17.5 mile stretch from East Cesar Chavez Avenue to Valley View Avenue takes almost an hour to push through between 5 and 6 p.m. on Fridays, more than three times the regular travel time of 18 minutes.
Although you could probably pay me enough to brave the previous two traffic jams, there’s no amount of money I would consider to put up with the 405 at any time of day, let alone peak hours between 4 and 5 p.m. on Fridays. What makes this freeway particularly painful is the amount of time it takes to traverse the 13.5 miles from Imperial Highway to Getty Center Drive. One option is Sepulveda Boulevard, which runs parallel for most of this stretch.
The third hour-long delay on The List this week, the Pomona Freeway is well known to commuters from Whittier, La Habra and other Gateway Cities. Residents of those communities can expect to spend an hour getting from Whittier Boulevard to Brea Canyon Road on Friday nights, almost three times as much as the average low-traffic travel time of 22 minutes.
No list of most unbearable Los Angeles Freeways would be complete without the 10. In fact, most traffic guides suggest avoiding it entirely whenever possible, even during off-peak hours. Unlike other commutes on this list, the Santa Monica Freeway sees its worst congestion on Thursdays, between 6 and 7 p.m., when the area between Lincoln Boulevard and Alameda Street freezes up and takes 49 minutes to traverse. Instead of dealing with this madness, take a side street and enjoy the brisker pace. Be advised – many drivers have the same idea, and major thoroughfares like Olympic can see standstills of their own.