Commuting in LA
September 8, 2004 11:45 AM   Subscribe

Angelenos: Help me with my commute! Pasadena to West LA; more inside...

I'm living in Pasadena and working in Westwood (UCLA, to be exact). Is there any way to get the commute to be reliably under an hour? Under 50 minutes? My hours are flexible: I just need to make sure I'm at work 8 or 9 hours a day. How off-peak do I need to be to actually avoid some traffic? It's already looking like leaving at 9:30 AM isn't quite late enough. Would an early commute work better?
posted by mr_roboto to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, LA (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Take the 134 (North) to the 101 (North) to the 405 (South) get off on Wilshire Blvd., continue to UCLA. Best times to leave Pasadena: 10:30 am. to 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. The latter being preferable.
posted by lola at 12:04 PM on September 8, 2004

I live in Pasadena and work in downtown LA. If you want to make the commute early in the morning I have found that traffic on the 110 south becomes terrible by 7:00 am at the latest (I start work at 6:00 am and traffic is usually negligible). I'm not sure how the 134 is at that hour but I imagine it is comparable.

A lot of my co-workers have found to be a great resource to help plan their routes home from work.
posted by malocchio at 12:53 PM on September 8, 2004

Pasadena to UCLA is my exact commute. I essentially take lola's route, but I exit at Sunset (then Veteran --> Gayley). Going that one extra exit down the 405 to Wilshire can add 10 minutes if you hit it at the wrong time of day.

As for your departure time from Pasadena, you probably want to avoid the hours of 6-10 AM. A few times recently I've left at around 7 AM and it took almost 2 hours to get there. As you might already know, the 101-405 interchange is the busiest in the country and avoiding it at certain times of the day will really make your commute better.

The 110 --> 10 --> 405 route may actually be a little shorter in distance, but the time in your car isn't. And it's not as nice of a drive, either.
posted by shoos at 1:47 PM on September 8, 2004

Ride a motorcycle. I go Palos Verdes to West LA (west of 405 on Wilshire, but about as far from the exit as UCLA is east), in under an hour. Lane splitting doesn't let you go 60 when traffic is at a standstill (unless you're a lot ballsier than me!) but it does let you keep moving, and that's what counts.
I've found that commute times are much more consistent on the bike, even though they're not always much faster than going by car.
posted by spacewrench at 3:10 PM on September 8, 2004

6 AM commute over there was never bad to me unless some truck spilled a load of Some Horrible Thing(s) all over the 405. Which seems to happen more frequently than statistics would predict.

Or maybe I left at 5:30...
posted by kamikazegopher at 6:54 PM on September 8, 2004

Well, I left work last night at quarter to eight, and made it home in 40 minutes flat. Thanks for the advice, guys.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:32 PM on September 9, 2004

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