How Scary is it Really to Drive in LA?

Discussion in 'Southern California' started by bamagirl@hrt, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. bamagirl@hrt

    bamagirl@hrt DIS Veteran

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    Next summer we are planning a SoCal vacation. This will include time at Disneyland and will end in San Diego, where my husband will attend a national conference. We want to spend some time in Hollywood/LA. I'm trying to decide if we should drive and plan our own touring or take a day tour from Anaheim. We don't drive in big cities regularly, but have driven in San Francisco, DC, and Atlanta. What do you recommend?
     
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  3. usnuzuloose

    usnuzuloose DIS Veteran

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    Not that scary, freeways get congested in the early morning and afternoons. You can use a GPS for directions. You will be fine.
     
  4. bamagirl@hrt

    bamagirl@hrt DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! That's exactly what I was hoping to hear. I think we'd prefer to have the freedom to do our own thing over being tied down to a tour itinerary. However, I am very intrigued by the Adventures by Disney one day tour.
     
  5. StageTek

    StageTek It's kind of fun to do the impossible.

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    No difference really than those three cities. More spread out, more freeways, but about the same.
     
  6. PHXscuba

    PHXscuba <font color=darkorchid>Mouseketeer since birth!<br

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    I've never driven in Atlanta, but I'd rank LA as easier than DC or San Francisco. Just give yourself plenty of time and use a GPS with a map as backup. The amount of freeways is large, but it's like a grid -- if you miss a turn you can probably take an acceptable alternate route.

    PHXscuba
     
  7. marvel

    marvel DIS Veteran

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    LA is better that Melbourne for driving :crazy2:
     
  8. ludari

    ludari DIS Veteran

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    I drive in it everyday and you'll be fine.
     
  9. Riniel

    Riniel Mouseketeer

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    I sure hope you're all right! This Dec trip will be my first attempt at driving in LA, and it's the thing I'm most stressed out over! :P
     
  10. ILUVALASKA

    ILUVALASKA DIS Veteran

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    I have been driving LA freeways for almost 40 years. Yes, there is congestion around LA and Hollywood everyday. The freeways are convenient. However, you have to drive defensively. Watch for speeders and chronic lane changers. People use the carpool lane as a passing lane. People signal and come in your space immediately without warning. People wait until the last minute to merge or exit. I hate knowing my son drives the freeways as a new driver. It can be nuts out here.
     
  11. danaesacto

    danaesacto DIS Veteran

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    What is frustrating is how long it takes to go short distances. Just know that traffic can be heavy all day, everday. Signage is good and freeways crisscross everywhere so it isnt hard, just busy...
     
  12. SnowWhite12

    SnowWhite12 DIS Veteran

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    Driving in Memphis, Tn is way worse! We didn't think driving LA area was bad at all:)
     
  13. bakerudall

    bakerudall Real Boy

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    Is it less congested on the weekends, or is it slow to get around town all the time?
     
  14. danaesacto

    danaesacto DIS Veteran

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    I don't live there- so I am sure locals must know some areas that are lighter on weekends- but as a tourist we found the whole general LA area to be a 7 day a week go, go, go town- it is busier down there later into the evening than it is up here, weekends are almost as busy as weekdays- by the time the weekend rolls around it seems everyone wants to be somewhere else- and they all have to drive to get there- when it is nice the freeways leading to the beaches back up for example...
     
  15. FlyingBelle

    FlyingBelle <font color=blue>Official Tag Fairy Underwear Desi

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    Growing up in Chicago - I don't find driving in LA that different - with one MAJOR exception - motorcycles are allowed to drive inbetween lanes of traffic! That really freaked me out the first time. I wasn't used to looking for them flying past between me and the next lane of traffic, especially when traffic was slow.

    Be safe!
     
  16. mikedoyleblogger

    mikedoyleblogger DIS Veteran

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    I've seen that several times lately on the Dan Ryan, at really crazy speeds, too. (Though not on other Chicago expressways, oddly--maybe south siders are just less risk averse!)
     
  17. KCmike

    KCmike Never have fallen asleep on any

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    The only problem with LA traffic is that it can get very very congested and the travel times take way too long to get from one point to another. We got stuck in Hollywood one afternoon and didn't make it back to Disneyland for several hours. Just know not to get out during the main rush hours. I would say 3pm is the latest you should head back and that might be too late.
     
  18. Danibelle

    Danibelle DIS Veteran

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    That is surprising! I drive in Memphis every year and although I have been in the rush hour, I didn't think it compared to LA traffic. You were lucky if you didn't run into some severe gridlock.
     
  19. Huff

    Huff DIS Veteran

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    Problem I have driving LA freeways is the lack of courtesy from other drivers. Need to change lanes so you turn on your blinker? That seems to tell the driver behind and in lane next to you to speed up and close the gap blocking you from changing lanes. Its just that sort of me first, out of my way that gets to me. Many big cities are like that so its not just LA.

    We've gotten used to it and adjust so do just fine. Congestion is the bigger issue. Rush hour in LA can be horribly slow. Its not just rush hour though. I've driven I-5 from SD to LA on a Sunday at 2am and its bumper to bumper the whole way. Hard to predict traffic at times but generally things are fine outside of rush hour.
     
  20. mdsd8700

    mdsd8700 It's kind of fun to do the impossible

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    I would agree with that. Some times the congestion is what is insane, but no different than I have experienced here in Chicago.
     
  21. GenGen22

    GenGen22 DIS Veteran

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    Does the carpool lane help any during the morning? Trying to figure how early to leave from Anaheim to Hollywood for our WB studio tour at noon in July haven't decided if weekday or a Sunday any suggestions?
     

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