Los Angeles is home to not only the largest high-speed freeway network in the nation, but also the highest cars-per-capita rate in the world.
Driving in Los Angeles leaves much to be desired. Traffic is unavoidable and in order to get around, as a resident or a visitor, you will be subjected to it. It is speculated that residents of L.A. County spend at least 4 days per year stuck in traffic.
The Los Angeles Freeway System
The Los Angeles Freeway System handles a whopping 12 million cars per day making sure L.A. takes first place for most polluted and congested roads in the nation.
Freeways are designated by numbers and by name depending on with whom you are speaking. It's best to have them memorized.
1 a.k.a. Pacific Coast Highway
You've probably heard of this highway, also referred to as the PCH. This highway runs along the coast, but has many traffic signals which can significantly slow down your commute.
2 a.k.a. Glendale Freeway
Convenient for trips to the Dodger Stadium, the Glendale ends in Silver Lake/Echo Park, and connects to the 210, the 134, and the 5.
5 a.k.a. Golden State Freeway or Santa Ana Freeway
This is the main north/south freeway in Los Angeles, and good luck trying to avoid it. The 5 originates in San Diego at the US/Mexico border and continues up to the Canadian border in Washington. Even though this is one of the busiest roads in Los Angeles, and only has two lanes in each direction.
10 a.k.a. Santa Monica Freeway or San Bernardino Freeway
The San Bernardino is the main east/west freeway which connects Santa Monica and Los Angeles. If you stay on 10 heading east, you'll eventually hit Jacksonville, Florida. "The San Bernardino" refers to the portion of 10 that connects the 101 to the 215.
60 a.k.a. Pomona Freeway
The Pomona runs parallel from 10 in Los Angeles to 10 in Riverside County, and intersects 57 and 215. This road is frequently clogged with trucks carrying shipping containers and is congested due to the rapid expansion of the surrounding communities.
71 a.k.a. Chino Valley Freeway or Chino
The 71 begins at the interchange of 10/57/71 in Pomona and ends at the 91 in Corona. Formerly known as the Corona Expressway, this fifteen mile route is notorious for thick fogs during the winter and is the site of many car crashes.
91 a.k.a. Artesia Freeway
This east/west route connects 101, 605, 5, and 57. This road is a freeway until it hits the PCH. The Artesia Freeway refers to the section between the Long Beach Freeway and the Santa Ana Freeway.
101 a.k.a. Hollywood Freeway or Ventura Freeway
The 101 runs north and south and ends in Washington. You can hop on the 101 in San Francisco in the morning and be in L.A. in time for a late afternoon meeting, although we don't recommend it. You'll arrive to the meeting so aggravated that you might take hostages. Don't be confused at the signs on 101 in L.A. that say things like "east" and "west." 101 is a north/south route.
105 a.k.a. Glenn Anderson Freeway
Starting a bit south of the 10, this east/west route is also commonly known as Century Freeway. Only 18 miles long, the 105 will take you right to the airport. The 1995 movie "Speed" was filmed on this highway.
110 a.k.a. Harbor Freeway
Route 110 consists of Interstate 110 and State Route 110 merging to make Route 110. It's worth noting the HOV lanes which are elevated above the rest of the traffic. The 7-story ramp connecting the Harbor Freeway HOV lanes with the Century Freeway HOV lanes offers some of the best views of Los Angeles.
210 a.k.a. Foothill Freeway
210 runs parallel to, and intersects with, all major north/south routes. Starting in the valley, this freeway was recently extended to Rialto. Named because it runs parallel to Foothill Boulevard and the San Gabriel Mountains,
405 a.k.a. San Diego Freeway
This route runs north/south through West L.A. We recommend avoiding it at all costs though as it is one of the most congested roads in SoCal.
710 a.k.a Long Beach Freeway
This north/south route is clogged with trucks heading from Long Beach to L.A. and vice versa. The 710 branches off into three segments near Long Beach.