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Los Angeles Freeway Tips

The 10 Freeway (Otherwise called the Santa Monica Freeway)

The 405 Freeway (The infamous…San Diego Freeway)

The 110 Freeway (Also called the Harbor Freeway)

 

Beverly Hills to West Hollywood Map View
If you’re at Olympic and Beverly, go south on Beverly and turn left on Whitworth Dr. Go east till you get to either Fairfax or La Cienega Blvd. It’s a short cut in the truest sense, and it gets you from Beverly Hills to West Hollywood fast.

 

Beverly Hills to Hollywood Map View
Victoria sends us this great tip, “My most useful shortcut in getting from Beverly Hills to Hollywood without getting caught up in Sunset traffic is to take Holloway to La Cienega, and then cut up to Fountain, which then runs parallel to Sunset to La Brea. (It’s the west-of-La-Brea version of the Franklin shortcut through Hollywood.) Fountain is almost always faster than Sunset. When it isn’t, you can just pop up to Sunset again quite easily.”
 
Beverly Hills to Santa Monica Map View
Proceed west on either Olympic Blvd. or Pico and go left at Overland. If you decided to take Pico, you might want to go left before Overland, onto Manning, then left on Ashby and right on Overland. Once you’re proceeding south on Overland, get on the 10 Freeway West. In less then 5 minutes you’ll have your choice of Santa Monica exits. (In general a courier saves lots of time taking the 10 West whenever they travel from Century City, Westwood, or West Los Angeles.)
 
Beverly Hills to Universal City or Burbank Map View
A former speedster named Tez, has pointed out that she takes Beverly Drive north to Coldwater Canyon and keeps going north until it merges to Mullholland Drive and comes to Cahuenga Blvd. Tez says, “from this point you can take Cahuenga west until the Barham bridge to Warner Brothers in Burbank, or you can take Lankershim to Universal Studios. Its also easy access to the 134 Freeway to Glendale. This shortcut saves lots of time and mileage with less stress and it offers a beautiful city view.”
 
Beverly Hills to the 405 Freeway Map View
The first thing you want to do, is get to Olympic Blvd. Once you do, travel west and then turn left at Overland, or if you don’t want to have to “wait” to turn left, turn left on Pelham Ave., right on Tennessee and left on Overland. Take that to the 10 Freeway going West towards Santa Monica. Once you’re on the 10 Freeway start looking for the 405 signs…they’re coming up very fast.
 
Brentwood to Beverly Hills or West Hollywood Map View
A freeway route would be the 405 south to the 10 east where you could exit at Overland going north. From there, turn right on Olympic Blvd. and turn left on a street just past Century City that would drop you off at a strategic spot on Wilshire Blvd., assuming that’s the Beverly Hills area you’re heading to. But a good surface street route is taking Sunset Blvd. east till you hit Canon Dr. where you would bear right, and turn right again onto Beverly Drive, which would drop you off in the heart of Beverly Hills. The West Hollywood route would involve just going in a more easterly direction beyond Beverly Hills.
 
Brentwood to Santa Monica Map View
This is not a long ride, but San Vicente is the way to go. From San Vicente Blvd. you can turn left onto a Santa Monica street that makes sense. Perhaps it’s 20th Street, 17th, 14th Street, or Lincoln Blvd., etc.
 
Century City to Downtown Los Angeles Map View
It’s not worth getting on the freeway for this one. By the time you get on the 10 Freeway at either Manning, Overland or Robertson, you could have already made a dent in the route by just taking Olympic Blvd.
 
Century City to Santa Monica Map View
Proceed west on either Olympic Blvd. or Pico and go left at Overland. If you decided to take Pico, you might want to go left before Overland, onto Manning, then right on Ashby and right on Overland. Once you’re proceeding south on Overland, get on the 10 Freeway West. In less then 5 minutes you’ll have your choice of Santa Monica exits. (In general a courier saves lots of time taking the 10 West whenever they travel from Century City, Westwood, or West Los Angeles.)
 
Downtown Los Angeles to Hollywood Map View
Go west on 8th Street and pass over the Harbor Freeway and make a right on Hoover and another right on to Rampart Blvd, then turn left on Council St and right on N Benton Way, then left on Bellevue Ave, where you will enter the 101 going north. Exit at Hollywood Blvd and go west. The world is now your oyster.
 
Downtown Los Angeles to LAX Map View
Take the 110 South, which probably will have some traffic but it will be worth it when you can transition to the 105 West. Take this freeway to the last exit which is Sepulveda, where you will head north and go through a tunnel, which is just below the runways! After exiting the tunnel look for the signs that detail where you need to go, be it car rental return, departures, etc.
 
Downtown Los Angeles to West Hollywood Map View
If you want to take surface streets the entire way, take Pico Blvd going west to San Vicente. If you want to gamble that the freeway won’t be too bad, take the 110 South to the 10 East and exit at Crenshaw and go north and then turn left on Pico Blvd and then bear right onto San Vicente Blvd., and before you know it, you’re merging with La Cienega Blvd, and you’re seeing the Beverly Center.
 
Hollywood, from East to West Map View
Franklin Avenue is a great way for couriers to get a quick start to the western area of Hollywood, or to West Hollywood. Take Franklin west, take a left at Highland and then a quick right to get back on to Franklin Ave. You can then turn left onto North Gardner Street and you’re then in the western part of Hollywood, and you are very close to what can officially be called, West Hollywood.
 
Hollywood, from South to North Map View
Highland is great some of the time. At other times, it’s way too crowded. Try this, from Wilshire Blvd., turn north on Rossmore Ave, which will turn into Vine. This is also good if you’re going through Hollywood the other direction, from north to south.
 
Hollywood to the Santa Monica Freeway Map View
Crescent Heights Blvd., is the answer. It’s a popular route for everyone, couriers included, but at least there’s no businesses clogging it up, like there are on La Brea, Fairfax or La Cienega. Take Crescent Heights south and turn right on Guthrie Ave, and then left on La Cienega, then follow the signs to the Santa Monica Freeway.
 
Hollywood to Glendale Map View
Our couriers take Franklin Ave. and then turn left on Serrano Ave, right on Los Feliz all the way to Glendale Ave, where you turn Left.
But as, Taleen is so nice to point out; “Keep in mind that there is a “No Left Turn” restriction from Franklin eastbound to Serrano northbound between 4 – 7 PM. Waiting for the Western light is actually a better idea since so many cars can turn per light. Otherwise, stick to Franklin until Edgemont. Also, going west on Los Feliz from Glendale…Vermont is the last left turn before Los Feliz turns left and becomes Western. Berendo is a constant “No left turn” and Edgemont is No Left turn between 7-9 am and 4-6 pm.
“Remember, Franklin through the hills past Marshall High school and right on Rowena, left on Hyperion turns into Glendale Blvd. in Atwater and drops you into Glendale without the hassle of Los Feliz. This is also a great cut considering how bad Los Feliz gets after 3 PM.”
 
Hollywood to Burbank Map View
A great shortcut through the Hollywood Hills is the following; go east on Sunset Blvd., turn left on Gardner St. and right on Franklin Ave. Then go east and turn left on Outpost Drive. Turn right on Mulholland at the top of the hill, then turn left, or more accurately, head north on Cahuenga Blvd., then turn right on Barham Blvd., and before you know it you’re in Burbank.
 
Hollywood towards Studio City Map View
If you’re coming north from Hollywood on Laurel Canyon, and you need to go east on Ventura Blvd., try turning right onto Sunshine Terrace, just before Ventura Blvd. It’s a great way to avoid cruising traffic on the Blvd., when you’re in a rush.
 
Hollywood to LAX Map View
The obvious choice is to take Highland Ave. or La Brea Ave. to the 10 West to the 405 South and exit at Century Blvd. and go east. But, if you’re worried about freeway traffic you can work your way west from Hollywood to La Cienega Blvd. and take that south till you can bare right and turn onto La Tijera Blvd. From there you will see signs to bear left towards LAX. This will bring you to Airport Blvd., from there you will turn right onto 96th Street (Don’t worry if there’s no signs, this is a shortcut after all.), and then turn right onto Vicksburg Ave. At this point you are now at the airport, and you’ve gone a semi secret way.
 
Miracle Mile to LAX Map View
If the freeway is not your thing, try taking West Blvd south at Pico Blvd. Then enjoy going over the 10 freeway, to see the traffic you might be missing out on, and then turn right on to W Jefferson Blvd. (Note that West Blvd. changes names to Buckingham Road.) Turn left on La Brea and then right on W Ivy Ave. and right on Florence. After it turns into Aviation Blvd turn right onto Arbor Vitae, left on Airport Blvd and then right onto 96th Street. Start looking at the signs now, as you are at LAX.
 
Pasadena or Glendale to Hollywood Map View
Take the Glendale Freeway, also called the 2 South and exit at Fletcher Drive. Bear left at the end of the on ramp and take Fletcher to Glendale Blvd and turn left. Then turn right onto Silver Lake Blvd. Continue on Silver Lake where it basically turns into Beverly Blvd. From here go have a good time in Hollywood.
 
Downtown LA to LAX Map View
Take the 110 South, which probably will have some traffic, but it will be worth it when you can transition to the 105 West. Take this freeway to the last exit which is Sepulveda, where you will head north and go through a tunnel, which is just below the runways! After exiting the tunnel look for the signs that detail where you need to go, be it car rental return, departures, etc.
 
West LA to LAX Map View
This can be very tough during rush hour, but assuming it’s not rush hour, take the 405 South and exit at La Tijera Blvd. From there, turn left on Airport Blvd, right on 96th Street and then right on Vicksburg Ave. At this point you’re at LAX!
Now if you don’t want to get on the 405 South, you can take Sepulveda Blvd. south, and that will take you right to the airport. Be on the lookout for signs telling you about car rental return, departure gates, etc.
 
Santa Monica to LAX Map View
Lincoln Blvd is the best way, but it can be very crowded. A good way to avoid some of this, is to take 11th Street south till it ends at Marine, and turn right. Then you take a left on Lincoln. There could be lots of traffic, but it’s a direct road. In time, after driving past Marina del Rey and the newly developed Playa Vista you will go through Westchester, maybe see some planes overhead as you drive alongside the runway, and then you can turn right on 96th Street, and you’re there!
 
Mar Vista or West L.A. to UCLA Map View
Our couriers take Veteran Avenue all the way past Wilshire Boulevard and then turn right on Le Conte Avenue. This is a tip our couriers were hesitant to give up.
 
Marina del Rey to Downtown Los Angeles Map View
Assuming there’s no traffic, the 90 Freeway east to the 405 North to the 10 East would be great. But a fantastic route to consider is getting on the 90 east, till it stops where you would turn right onto Slauson Ave. and take that east till you can either hop on the 110 Freeway north or you can take Figueroa Street north to your destination. (Slauson Ave. takes you through parts of South Los Angeles…which you might like or — you might not, or maybe it doesn’t matter.)
 
Marina del Rey to Beverly Hills or Hollywood Map View
If there’s no freeway traffic, the 90 east to the 405 north to the 10 east exiting at Robertson, La Cienega, Fairfax or La Brea is fine, depending on your final destination. However a great use of surface streets in Los Angeles would be to take the 90 east and when it ends, turn right on to Slauson Ave. Go east till you come to La Cienega and go north till you arrive in the Beverly Hills area. If your destination is Hollywood, stay on Slauson Ave. till you come to La Brea Avenue and then turn left. From there, you can go north on La Brea till you get to Holly- wood.
 
San Fernando Valley to Santa Monica Map View
If you’re starting off in Woodland Hills, or even Tarzana, you should take Topanga Canyon Blvd south and turn left on the Pacific Coast Highway. From there you can go up the “California Incline” or stay on P.C.H. until it turns into the 10 Freeway, at which point you can exit at Lincoln Blvd (If the downtown area of Santa Monica is where you’re heading. Also, this route is a good idea if you’re starting in Canoga Park or even Chatsworth.
 
San Fernando Valley to Westwood & Century City Map View
The obvious choice is the 405 Freeway, but you probably know how problematic that can be when you get towards Sunset Blvd. — no matter what time of day. To avoid this jam up, it might be a good idea to take the 405 part of the way, and get off at Getty Center Drive where you can then take Sepulveda towards Westwood. If you’re proceeding to Century City, turn left on Wilshire and right on Beverly Glen, then left onto Santa Monica Blvd.
 
San Fernando Valley (Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, North Hollywood) to the Westside or Santa Monica via Surface Streets! Map View
If you know there’s a problem with the 405 South, and therefore, Sepulveda as well, try taking Valley Vista Blvd. east till you get to Woodcliff Road and turn left. Then turn right on Mullholland and left on Roscomare (there’s lot’s of stop signs), till it ends; you’ll bear right on Chalon and that will become Bellagio and end at Sunset Blvd. From there couriers like going east on Sunset past the 405, which if it looks good, maybe you’ll want to get on it, or just proceed east to Bundy Drive and turn left for the Westside but keep going on Sunset if you’re going to Santa Monica and you can turn left on Cliffwood Ave. and right on San Vicente Blvd.
 
San Fernando Valley starting at the Getty Center & the 405 Freeway
This was sent by a fan of ours, and each messenger that’s tried it likes it! Even if it is a little complicated…
“My favorite shortcut is getting on to the 405 North in Bel Air (near the Getty). If the light is red just hang a right at the Bel-Air Grill and make a U-turn at the first stop sign and go straight. The light is synchronized so that the last light to turn green is the one making a left (Northbound lane) and the Westbound cross street always turns green before it. You beat tons of cars onto the freeway and you don’t have to wait at the light. I learned that one from a Super Shuttle driver.”
 
Santa Monica to Santa Monica (east to west)
There’s two shortcuts for local Santa Monica chores. Taking the 10 Freeway West from the Centinela on ramp between Olympic and Pico is an absolute must if you want to go to downtown Santa Monica. Also, getting off at 5th Street is quicker because there’s less traffic and one less light compared to getting off at 4th Street. (This assumes you’re heading in a northerly direction upon exiting from the Freeway…going to the downtown area, rather then Main Street or Venice, in which case, you would exit at 4th Street and turn left.)
Another must do shortcut in Santa Monica, for going east to west, is taking the 10 Freeway West from 20th Street between Olympic Blvd. and Pico Blvd. But don’t speed, because it’s a very popular route for the local SMPD to get back to Police headquarters
 
Santa Monica to Marina del Rey
Our couriers love to take 11th Street south till it ends at Marine, where you turn right. Then you take a left on Lincoln and end up bypassing some terrible Lincoln Blvd. traffic, and seven minutes later you’re in Marina del Rey.
 
Santa Monica to Beverly Hills
First off, if you’re wondering about shortcuts from Santa Monica, to Hollywood, there are none. Our messengers just get on the 10, and get off at La Brea, and go north. But if you’re in Santa Monica and you’re going to Beverly Hills, you can get on the 10 East and get off at Overland and take that north to Pico or Olympic…or if you think the 10 East is going to be bad, which it often is, with an early 3 PM start to rush hour each day, then take Pico east, and when you pass Sepulveda, turn left on a street that you can make a quick left on. This will drop you off at Olympic where you will turn right and then turn left after you pass those tall buildings in Century City, onto a side street that drops you off close to where you want to go. In other words, avoid Wilshire, till you need to be on it. Also, years ago, our courier service was a big fan of Olympic to go east, but not so much anymore. Too many new office buildings equals too much traffic!
 
Santa Monica to Sherman Oaks, Encino, Van Nuys etc.
If it’s 2 AM, don’t do this. In fact this is only good if you’re in the northern part of Santa Monica and you anticipate traffic congestion. Find your way to Montana Avenue, go left on Westgate and right on Sunset. From there, start hoping that the 405 North is moving. Some of our couriers like to pass the 405 on Sunset and get a view of how it looks. If it’s bad, they do a legal U-Turn in about 150 yards, and then take Sepulveda.
 
Santa Monica to Calabasas, Hidden Hills and Thousand Oaks
Tez, our former speedster offers another important shortcut. “I take P.C.H. North and then turn right on Topanga Canyon Blvd. until it connects to Mullholland Drive. Then I turn left on Mullholland and pass the 101 Freeway and make a left turn on Long Valley Road which takes you directly into Hidden Hills. Or when you come to the 101, you can take that north to Thousand Oaks. The mileage is almost the same if you take the 10 to the 405 to the 101 freeeways, but the best part is that it’s less time and you avoid possible freeway traffic as well as breathing cleaner and fresher air and seeing some stunning scenery.” Yeah Tez!
 
Santa Monica to Hollywood
Scott B. sends in this tip, which is absolutely right on. He says, “I have the quickest way to get from Santa Monica to Hollywood. Take the 10 East, exit Crenshaw, go left until it dead ends at Wilshire, go left a few a blocks to Rossmore, make a right, take that until it becomes Vine, go about 2 miles and you’re at Hollywood and Vine. I drove that route for 5 years after trying everything else.” A fast messenger we have does add, however, that if you’re going to the western part of Hollywood, you should exit La Brea and go north and then take a right on Edgewood Place, which turns into Highland and take that north.
 
Venice Blvd/Culver City to Santa Monica or the 405 North
If you find yourself at Venice near La Cienega, the Helms Bakery area and you want to go to Santa Monica or the 10 Freeway West, do not backtrack to the on ramp at Robertson. Instead go a bit out of your way and get ready to perform magic! Go east on Venice and when you go under the freeway, where it looks like there’s no way to find the 10 West, only the 10 East, simply do a legal u-turn at Cadillac and make your first right onto David and you’ll find your- self on one of the only “unadvertised” on ramps to a major Los Angeles freeway, the 10 West. You’ll be in Santa Monica in 5 minutes!
 
West Hollywood to the Santa Monica Freeway
If you’re going eastbound this is great, and if you plan on taking the Santa Monica Freeway West, it’s not bad either. Take advantage of San Vicente Blvd. (it goes Southeast), and then turn right on Crenshaw till you get to the Santa Monica Freeway.
 
West Hollywood to Burbank
A great shortcut through the Hollywood Hills is the following; go east on Sunset Blvd., turn left on Gardner St. and right on Franklin Ave. Then go east and turn left on Outpost Drive. Turn right on Mulholland at the top of the hill, then turn left, or more accurately, head north on Cahuenga Blvd., then turn right on Barham Blvd., and before you know it you’re in Burbank.
 
West Hollywood to Beverly Hills
Assuming you’re near the Beverly Center at 3rd Street and La Cienega, go west on Burton Way (it intersects with La Cienega and is just south of 3rd St.). It will turn into “Little Santa Monica Blvd”., in Beverly Hills. From there you can continue towards Century City as well.
 
West Los Angeles to Downtown Santa Monica
The quickest way a messenger will go is to take advantage of the Santa Monica Freeway and enter the 10 West off Centinela, between Olympic & Pico Boulevards. Exit at 5th Street instead of 4th. It’s quicker because you avoid an extra light as well as traffic next to Santa Monica Place.
 
West Los Angeles to Beverly Hills
Depending on where you are, it’s most likely best to take Olympic Blvd. However, if you’re by Wilshire and Barrington or east of there, it’s best to just take Wilshire Blvd. Cutting down to Olympic to go east, where you’ll have to make a left turn is time consuming. Most importantly, you should go north from Olympic on to a minor street where you can then be in the thick of things in Beverly Hills — that is.
 
HOW TO AVOID TIME CONSUMING LEFT TURNS
 
Our couriers never wait in line to turn left in Los Angeles traffic! What a smart messenger does is quickly determine if they can turn left without having to wait for another light. If you can’t make the light, you should see if you could turn into a driveway of a gas station or 7-11 etc., just past the intersection, on the right. If you can, enter the lot and then exit towards your destination. (See the picture) Don’t forget to look at all the people still waiting in the left hand turn lane wonder- ing how you got in front of them. This is a great shortcut for messengers…and you too!
 
Freeway Tips
 
The 10 Freeway (The Santa Monica Freeway)
 
The 10 Freeway going east past the 405 Freeway has a through traffic exit that is very useful if there’s a heavy traffic. Here’s the map. Simply make as if you’re exiting at La Brea, but then follow the signs to remain on the 10 East. This is especially helpful if you see an accident or some type of problem in the first couple of lanes on the far left of the freeway.
 
You could also do the thru traffic trick exiting at Normandie, but if you intend to take the 110 North, it’s not a good idea. In general the Normandie Freeway short- cut is really only a good idea if there’s a noticeable mess on the 10 going east. In other words, there’s no guarantees on this one, as it can backfire if there’s a lot of cars getting on the freeway.
 
The 10 Freeway going west also has a good option. Just make like you’re exiting at Normandie where you could re-enter at Western or Arlington. These are very good short cuts, especially if you see traffic on the 10 West. And that’s an easy thing to see…by turning your head to the…left!
 
A must do shortcut if you are taking the 10 east from west of downtown Los Angeles, map view, and you intend to stay on the 10, beyond downtown LA, even if you will transition to the Pomona Freeway (The 60 East), is to make sure you stay out of lanes 1,2 or 3. Simply position yourself in lane number 4 and don’t get involved in all the traffic going from the 10 to the 110 North. Some people drive in the first 3 lanes, even if they’re continuing on the 10, only to burden themselves with unnecessary traffic that includes people transitioning to the 110 North.
 
The 405 Freeway (The San Diego Freeway, why do they call it that?)
 
When you are going north on the 405, approaching Century Blvd., you can act as if you’re getting off at Century Blvd., but there’s a thru traffic lane that might help if there’s heavy traffic. This way, you might pass a lot of cars as you briefly exit, but then get back on the 405 North.
 
The 110 Freeway (The Harbor Freeway…the first Freeway in Los Angeles!)
 
Going north from the 10 East, and the 10 West, there’s a great opportunity to miss lots of freeway traffic by staying in the lane you’ve entered the 110 North on. Don’t worry as you can stay on it all the way till you pass the exits for 4th and 3rd street. This is a great tip, if you’re going to Dodger Stadium, by staying on the 110 for a little while longer (exiting at Academy or Stadium Way), or transferring to the 101 North or South.