Traffic, Los Angeles
You really have to plan your days according to traffic patterns. If you're here during the week, anytime between 8 am and 10 am, 3 PM to 7PM, is going to be high traffic periods. It can take you an hour or more to go 12 miles.
Ask the locals what they think of traffic patterns before you jump on a stalled "freeway."
There is almost always traffic jam in the city. Try to avoid at least the morning and evening rush-hours on week days and the Sunday afternoons.
If driving in the city is important for you, do not plan your visit at the beginning/end of holiday periods. and at major feast, such as Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Novadays a lot of people are very aggressive behind the wheel. The best thing you can do is to avoid dangerous traffic situations and keep your car doors always locked.
If you drive in Los Angeles, you will get stuck in a traffic jam. I wasn't there long enough to figure out exactly when rush hour is but it seemed like any time of day I would get on a freeway, there would be a traffic jam, sometimes due to an accident (and a gapers delay on the other side), sometimes just because it was the wrong time of day.
If you have more than one person in your car, keep an eye out for car pool lanes, they don't always move much faster than traffic but sometimes they do.
The traffic in Los Angeles is more than a little congested. Be alert for just about anything. The nice thing is we didn't see aggressive drivers like we do here in the east, which made it a lot nicer all the way around.
Traffic is a problem all over Los Angeles but is extremely escalated in the Fairfax District or along Fairfax Ave in West LA and surroundings neighborhoods. A major grindlock point is at 3rd and Fairfax, where the crowd loving Farmer's Market and The Grove are located. The problem is so bad in the area that traffic enforcers are proposed to ease traffic jams.
They say that one of the joys of travel is to experience a new place just as those that live there do. Well, if that's your philosophy, then the best way to experience Los Angeles like a native is to rent a car, because then you'll certainly spend time sitting in traffic. LA has the worst traffic in the United States, a fact that has been quantified in several empirical studies. We got a flavor of it when it took us two hours to travel the almost 20 miles between Santa Monica pier and the airport (LAX). Luckily, we gave ourselves plenty of time, which you should always do in LA.
Lets face it, everyone has talked about how much traffic there is in LA. Well in my opinion its just as bad as in ANY big city, for example Austin, and Miami. To me, they traffic was just as bad in either of these two locations.
Of course there will be more traffic at certain times of the day and on certain freeways more than others. So just allow yourself more enough time to get to where you need to go.
Dismayed, frustrated and overwhelmed by jostling traffic, multiple interchanges and cloverleaves, the only way I survived LA’s gridlock was to have a navigator. Even then I zoomed over two lanes barely making my interchange connection. I wasn’t the only one. Constant vigilance is a lifesaver.
If you live or have ever visit Los Angels you will experience some serious traffic. Rush hours is usually from 3:00-7:00pm, Mon-Friday. Yet, there are lots of helpful sights to help navigate traffic in LA.
California Department of Transportation is a great site if there is any scheduled construction and what rest stops are available. We use this one during the winter to alert us of Highway or road closures.
Another is Real Time Traffic
Caltrans has excellent maps too. Cal Maps
The number below you can call anytime to find out your routes conditions.
Here is a tip:
Do NOT slow down traffic on Sunset because you are busy videotaping every single building in site. Sure, you may laugh at me for writing this, however I have seen it happen more than anyone could imagine.