7 tried-and-true shortcuts for navigating LA traffic

Written by
Justin Cross
traffic LA
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Prayitno

Yes, there's Waze, Beat the Traffic and good old Google Maps. But with all the fancy technology, sometimes nothing beats the classic traffic shortcuts that only come via word-of-mouth (or this blog post). For those who have spent years learning the hard way, some of these may be old hat. However, if you're new to town, read up as these will save you some heartache and allow you to rest your middle finger a bit.

1. Avoid the 405 gridlock. If you're going Westside to the Valley in the height of traffic, cruise down Sepulveda the whole way. PCH is also a great option if you want scenery, or do a combination of these options and take Coldwater Canyon.

2. Never take Hollywood when navigating through Hollywood. Avoid the men in capes and take Franklin or Fountain to get around the touristy chaos. If you want to avoid the hellish traffic of a Hollywood Bowl show, historic Mulholland Drive feel like a Godsend.

3. I-10 is a parking lot and you're trying to make tip off. If you're in this situation, jump off the freeway immediately and take a side street like Jefferson, Olympic or MLK. Just watch for guys on motor cycles zooming by when you're changing lanes.

4. Don't miss your flight. Oh, the dreaded LAX commute. Nothing is worse than rushing to get yourself to the airport for a long holiday flight to visit relatives than getting delayed with everyone else leaving town. Avoid the freeway and take Crescent Heights until it dead ends. Then, take La Cienega to La Tijera all the way to the colorful phallic symbols of our beloved airport.

5. The one freeway that's never crowded. It's called the 90. You'll see a few cars, and a couple of them are quite possibly cops waiting to catch the guys who think they're in a Fast and Furious movie.

6. Coast to the coast. Everyone loves a sunny weekend at the beach. If you're heading to the beach, beat them to the punch and take Hauser all the way to Venice Blvd.

7. The LA Zoo isn't just for animals. Take Zoo Drive if traffic is backed up on the 134 freeway en route to I-5. Also, La Tuna Canyon Road is a good option if navigating between I-5 and the 210 freeway (instead of taking the 118). By the way, I realize that this last tip sounds like something out of The Californians.

You may also want to check out... 25 things you will definitely see in LA traffic.

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