I usually go in the middle of the day...
January 16, 2009 10:15 AM   Subscribe

TrafficFilter: Help me get to San Diego!

I live in Camarillo, CA. I am driving to San Diego, but have to stop in South Pasadena and Long Beach. I am picking someone up in Long Beach—he doesn't get off work until 6:30pm.

I want to arrive in SD as early as possible, with the least amount of driving, stopping in these two places.

When is the best time to leave? Is this the best route?
posted by Korou to Travel & Transportation around San Diego, CA (10 answers total)
Best answer: I lived in Santa Barbara for several years and drove these routes pretty often. (A friend lived in Pasadena, my parents live in San Diego, and my wife (then gf) lived in Orange County.

That route is about as well as you can do, but there's no clear pattern to the traffic. On a weekday, you probably don't want to try to get from Camarillo to S. Pasadena before about 6:30-7pm. If 405 is a total parking lot, sometimes taking Sepulveda helps a bit.
posted by JMOZ at 10:23 AM on January 16, 2009

That is the best route.

There is no easy route between Pasadena and Long Beach, except for the 710. The 110 also takes you into Long Beach/Torrance, but likely further away from where your buddy works.

The 405 may stink when you're going through the OC, but your other alternative is a roundabout way to the 5 via the 605 and 55 which is just as bad if not worse. The 405 is easily the most direct and sane route, even if it is slow.

The only alternative street is maybe taking PCH in lieu of the 405; it's slow and has traffic lights, but at least it has a view of the ocean and cool places to stop if you get antsy. But that defeats your purpose.

As you drive through the crappy traffic through LA and the OC, please remember to enjoy your more sane traffic in Ventura County.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:46 AM on January 16, 2009

Response by poster: That route should not include the toll road.

Thanks for the answers so far! I go to SD fairly often, but rarely stop on the way. We're going on a small fishing trip and I'm picking up some poles and another friend who's going. So, my biggest concern is when to leave Camarillo.
posted by Korou at 11:23 AM on January 16, 2009

Avoid the 405 at all costs.
posted by k8t at 11:38 AM on January 16, 2009

Why not take the toll road? It saves you from having to deal with the 405/5 merge (the orange crush will probably be a nightmare on a friday evening) and is a pretty drive too. And it saves you alot of time.

I'd leave as early as possible and bring something to occupy you if you are early for your friend. And bring your patience because, as I'm sure you know, driving on a friday night in LA is miserable, at best.
posted by cjets at 12:04 PM on January 16, 2009

Best answer: Personally, I avoid the 101 at all costs and would probably choose to take the 23 north to the 118 west, going through Simi, eventually merging onto the 5 south. I've had nothing but terrible experiences with the 101, and would rather drive out of my way for a bit than deal with the 101. This may be a little irrational, I admit.

I commute from San Diego to Irvine, so I'm more than familiar with the drive from Long Beach to San Diego; if you're leaving Long Beach after 6:30, the traffic at the 405/5 merge should be tolerable.

The 805 has a good chance of being pretty rough after splitting off from the 5. I would recommend staying on the 805 past La Jolla Village Dr. and exiting onto Governor directly. The extra time spent in freeway traffic will likely be less than the time spent in surface-street traffic.

You can check traffic status at SigAlert if you have a web connection at any point during your trip.
posted by truex at 12:27 PM on January 16, 2009

Best answer: If you don't mind hanging out in Long Beach, I'd say get there by like 5:30. If you travel the 710 south at 6, you'll probably hit baaaad traffic.

Same goes for the trek down the 101-134-210 to Pasadena. The movie studios leave work around like 4pm on Fridays, so the traffic starts to build up in Burbank around then. If you can hit Burbank before 5pm, the traffic won't be bad. But if you're in that stretch between 5pm and 7pm, you'll see crappy traffic.

And if you leave Long Beach at 6:30, you will hit traffic. And on a Friday night on the 405, it is unpredictable and may not really let up until after 8pm. Hope that helps.
posted by jabberjaw at 12:31 PM on January 16, 2009

I don't know how bad that section of 405 in Long Beach is, but the 710 south around there is usually wide open. You can take it to Anaheim St. Can you check traffic while driving?
posted by low affect at 1:32 PM on January 16, 2009

Response by poster: I can't check traffic while driving, but I can check when I stop in South Pas and Long Beach.

I'm probably leaving Camarillo at 7pm, taking the 101-134, getting to South Pas around...8? Then the 710 south to Long Beach, getting there around 8:45. And finally the 405 south, ultimately merging onto the 5 south. If traffic is really bad on the 405, I'll try the toll road.

I went to UCSD and my friends live in apartments around La Jolla Village Dr. At the 805-5 split, I just take the 5 to, well, La Jolla Village Dr.
posted by Korou at 1:59 PM on January 16, 2009

Response by poster: The drive was incident free, with a few slowdowns around the 101-134 change-up. I left Camarillo at 7, got to South Pas at 8, had some food, left at 9 and got to Long Beach around 9:35. Ended up in San Diego around 10:50.

I took: 101-134-710-405.
posted by Korou at 8:46 AM on January 19, 2009

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