Driving, Los Angeles
Okay, so here is the deal with making a left hand turn in Los Angeles. It is a big pain.
Many tourists come to Los Angeles from places that have left hand turn arrows at intersections. While L.A. has added a few here and there, you mostly will not see turn arrows. With traffic congested like it is in this city, you can sit through an entire green light and never have a break in the opposing traffic that would allow you to turn left. Hence the confusion. Here is what locals do (and what you should to, unless you want to get honked at and see a few ugly hand gestures).
1. The first two cars in line to turn left should pull forward into the intersection.
2. When the light turns red, these two cars may turn left. In these circumstances is it OK to turn on a red light and oncoming traffic will expect it. Just move out of the intersection as quickly as possible.
My favourite thing about Los Angeles apart from my brother and his family living there, is without doubt the sunrises, sunsets, and horizons. I love to be on the move, and as a part of that feeling of freedom comes the love of stunning sky lines at dusk, driving along on those big open roads, (i'm sure they don't call them freeways for nothing), camera in hand and some Pacific Coast Highway tracks playing on the radio. Coming from England you can appreciate the contentment one feels as the Californian sunshine beams through the car window like a tiger's eye, and gently warms the right side of my face as i sit in the passenger seat humming to the sounds from the radio. True there may not be historical buildings and ghostly stories in California, as in most of the United States, but you can equally be mesmorised by the supernatural light that glows late in the day here - City of Angels? you can be sure if angels do exist, their halo's are burning high in the sky at night in LA.
Fondest memory: I have great memories of LA, but for me the one best memory was that for the first time in a few years the whole family spent New Years together, having never met my brother's wife and children, or seem him myself for about 2 1/2 years it was more about spending time with the people that really matter, than about the place we were visiting.
Favorite thing: There are so many things to see and do that one week will not be enough to cover everything. Most attractions are not all located in one place they are spaced far apart. If you are not afraid to drive in a different place then a car will definitely help in getting you around. However, I recommend that you reserve a car before you get there. Several people tried to rent a car and due to many conventions there was none available.
Well, I got surprised visiting Santa Monica, it s great, and Malibu beaches too.
First thing you should do arriving to LA must be to rent a car, cause otherwise you will cannot visit any place. Dont worry, renting a car is very cheap, can be $40 daily, so if you are with some friends dividing that between your friends will give you a reasonable price.
I lived in West LA for 2 years. There are plenty of activities to keep one occupied; but you'll need a car. Keep in mind, TRAFFIC. As everyone in LA drives, don't expect that it may take you 15 minutes to go 15 miles--depends on the time of day and whatever accidents may have occured.
Fondest memory: The warm weather!
There was a day I'd say when in LA go see the illegal street races...what excitement! But I'm all grown up now and I traded racing for travel.
Fondest memory: Those nights....my wild nights on the streets of Los Angeles, hanging out with the crew and drag racing out in Sylmar, Gardena, Stadium Way & all the other streets we used to race on.
Fondest memory: What was this...engine number 5? Well, I must have blown a good number of motors in my day but this last motor, a twin cam VTEC B16A from Japan, had a redline of over 8000 rpm. It was the perfect match!
Favorite thing: Keep in mind that L.A. is probably the most spread out city in the country. You'll find yourself driving all over the place as a tourist, so be prepared for some traffic and to be utterly lost throughout your stay!
You should see all the sun there and the live. And if you have chance, you can see a lot of beautiful car like Porsche, Lamborghini...
Fondest memory: I don't have a best memory there because i'm just stayed there 3 days, but only to feel the sun in your skin it's so cool..
Do not come to LA expecting to see a cool city center. Most parts look like a big smoggy over grown suburb. It's not that beautiful, except at the beach.
You might be surprised by how tawdry and dumpy most of LA looks. Just random strip malls, telephone poles, auto repair shops, donuts shops, drive through chinese food. Yep! Don't be surprised. It's a good place to see kitschy car culture, but beautiful as a city it aint.
The nature, ocean, suburban lawns and flowers are nice. Personally I find LA pretty livable if you do it right, but don't expect a historical center like a European city.
Don't be discouraged. Head towards the beach, relax, enjoy the good life.
Try to rent an electric car! It´s not only the special feeling of riding an extraordonary vehicle, its allso because you get the best places in this city wich is stucked full of ordonary fuel powered cars.
Fondest memory: Getting to the best places with the electric car! You will get an extraordonary possibility to go to the most frequent atractions in the city without searching a gap to park your car miles away from the entrance and paying lots of money for that. You allways get the best and nearest places to park your electric car at many tourist atractions, shopping malls and even at the beaches! In LA there is a system of 'Electric Vehicle Parking Only' marked places with charging equipment for your car for free use! You don´t pay for parking, don´t pay for charging an best of all, they are allwas situatet at the best position nearby the entrance, beside the VIP only and disabled parkers. You find EV- parkers for example direct in the valet parking of the Universal Studios, straight at the beach of Santa Monica ore beside the mayors parking palce in the city hall garage. You never walk 15 minutes over a hot parking area ore pay 7$ in a dirty parking lot, like it´s common with an ordonary gasoline car!
This picture was taken from the plane. Despite its bad quality, it really gives an idea of the complex road structure in L.A…
Roads intertwinings and interchanges. You can just imagine how awful traffic can be here at rush hours… :-)
Wilshire Boulevard is one of the principal east-west arterial roads in Los Angeles, California. Running 16 miles from Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, it has been called "the backbone of Los Angeles." Many of the post-1956 skyscrapers in Los Angeles are located along Wilshire; indeed, one of the oldest and tallest is known simply as "One Wilshire."
Fondest memory: All of the boulevard is at least four lanes in width. The widest portion is in the business district of central Westwood, where mobs of pedestrians crossing Wilshire at Westwood Boulevard must traverse ten lanes (including two left-turn pockets). This and the nearby intersection of Wilshire and Veteran are among the busiest in Los Angeles.
Favorite thing: unless you have to! I could write the same for Malibu when I get the Malbu pages going on here- but back to downtown LA. Gas prices are really elevated here. A common guideline is that the richer the community, the higher the gas prices. Often this is the case, like with the example of Malibu. However, the guidleine is not the rule. Downtown LA is not necessarily rich. Despite having the fancy posh lofts and highrises and the wealth of business, the area is also the poorest of the poor with Skid Row and several downtrodden streets. Well, after some thought, the reason why gas is high in downtown may just be because pump stations are somewhat scarce. A particular station by the entrance of Chinatown (The name escapes me) and near Union Station is quite staggering considering pump price, often 20 cents higher than the normal at a given time. Yikes!
Rent a car. If you want to see the city, don't rely on public transportation. Trains/subways are limited, and the buses are stuck on the busy streets. Rent a car, use the carpool lane.
Fondest memory: The weather. You just can't beat the weather on the west side of LA. Year round it's balmy.