Should I live in the Valley?
December 4, 2006 7:54 AM   Subscribe

LAFilter: How long would a morning rush-hour commute take from Burbank to Beverly Hills? How about evening? How about non-rush hour commutes?

I know, I know, the Valley sucks, but living out there is so much cheaper.

Also, what's the best route to take? Does this work?
posted by JPowers to Travel & Transportation around Lawrence, MA (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hey, the Valley was good to me when I lived there. Are you dead-set on living in Burbank? I've lived in some dirt-cheap places in Studio City and Valley Village that weren't complete hovels and kept me close to public transportation and the freeways.

* If you're willing to take public transportation, I'd consider taking the Red Line from either the North Hollywood station or the Universal City station to Hollywood and Highland, then taking the #2 along Sunset into Beverly Hills.

* The canyon roads, as much as others love to gripe about them, are still *miraculously* faster than winding about the 101 and 5 and various arterial roads. Consider driving along Riverside into Sherman Oaks, then going left on Tyrone into Beverly Glen. The only real backup there lasts until you get maybe three blocks south of Ventura. Worked for me, coming from Studio City every day.

* I've taken the 5 down to Los Feliz and then headed west with varied success before. Quicker than most arterial routes, but again, this may depend on the time of day.

* Worst case, just plan a little extra time into your drive schedule, and put up with some congestion on the 5 and/or 101.
posted by salsamander at 8:27 AM on December 4, 2006

Best answer: I think the North Hollywood/Universal City suggestion, involving the Red Line and the #2 is the best. I'm in Los Feliz, and I've been going into Beverly Hills two to three times a week for the last ten years, and I can tell you that it's getting really really really old -- and that's usually midday. Although that's probably true for any commute ten years in. It's 30 minutes door to door (taking Beverly Blvd all the way to Santa Monica Blvd). Rush hour it can go from 45 to 90 minutes depending on the time. Salsamander is right about the canyon roads -- In my early days, when I was pulling down two jobs and had to go from Burbank to Beverly Hills and *back* on my lunch hour, it was all about Beverly Glen.
posted by incessant at 8:46 AM on December 4, 2006

I second Salsamander's canyon roads suggestion.

On the other hand, if you do take the 5 and then head west through Los Feliz, avoid Franklin at all costs. It's one lane for far too long.
posted by hifiparasol at 8:53 AM on December 4, 2006

Best answer: Yes, parts of the Valley are just fine -- Studio City/North Hollywood/Toluca Lake all have some adorable neighborhoods, and they'd be much easier than Burbank (ech) for a commute into Beverly Hills via the canyons.
posted by scody at 10:56 AM on December 4, 2006

(Which, I should add, is not to guarantee that any commute will be "easy" overall -- commuting in L.A. is a pain pretty much no matter how you slice it. But a Studio City-Beverly Hills commute would certainly be less painful than a Burbank-Beverly Hills commute.)
posted by scody at 10:58 AM on December 4, 2006

Oh! You know, you neglected to mention *where* in BH you'll be heading. If you'll be working around Wilshire Boulevard, you may have an easier time getting there than other parts of town, if you take the right roads or Red Line/Rapid stops. incessant's estimates sound about right for getting to most places in LA - it can be as easy as 25 - 30 minutes, but certainly expect and plan for days when you'll be stuck for an hour or two.
posted by salsamander at 11:01 AM on December 4, 2006

Best answer: Barham is a major route into/ out of Burbank and the 101 is always going to busy at rush hour. Sunset too is a busy artery, and Highland/ Sunset is a major tourist area.
Going to Burbank, you'd want to take La Brea up to Franklin to avoid this area, and coming back, hang a right on Franklin just before Hollywood Blvd and either hit Sunset at La Brea, or pick up Hollywood at La Brea and take it to Fairfax. Oh, and the Hollywood Bowl is right there where you're entering the 101 going north, so expect traffic to be *screwed* when there's a show on.
Also, you'd probably be better off taking Cahuenga (it runs alongside the 101) all the way to/ from Barham - particularly so going to Burbank as you will have to cross 7 lanes in 0.6 miles to get from your 101 entry to your 101 exit.
I'd also try taking the 134/ 101 to Coldwater, although the problem with canyon roads is that you get stuck behind someone slow and it's curtains, and I'm sure the 134/101 at rush hour ain't much fun either. Really, you will just have to experiment, and as you can probably tell by now, there's no easy answer. In fact the only answer is to get car you can tolerate being in for long periods of time and stack up on audiobooks.
Oh, and one final word of advice: a common misconception is that outside of rush hour the roads here are clear. This may be true in that the freeways are clearer - and certainly not as congested during rush hour - but *everyone* in LA drives, so don't automatically expect the non-rush hour commutes (particularly on surface streets) to be a breeze.
I live at Sunset & La Cienega, so I know the traffic in this area pretty well (my commute is Sunset to Santa Monica) - feel free to contact me direct if you have other questions.
posted by forallmankind at 1:20 PM on December 4, 2006

Ditto on the canyon roads, and also checking out some areas other than Burbank. Studio City and Sherman Oaks both have easy access to canyon roads (Beverly Glen is ideal for you, Roscomare is a little quieter but puts you further west than you want). Sherman Oaks is quieter than Studio City, if you prefer that. Studio City has lots of restaurants and things to do, which is nice. North Hollywood isn't as nice as either, but its not horrible, and its still closer than Burbank.

A friend of mine used to commute from North Hollywood to Santa Monica at peak hours, and it usually took him an hour. If you are only going to Beverly Hills, it will be a bit shorter, especially if you use the canyons. It will still be jammed up at peak time, but its so much more direct than any of the freeways.
posted by Joh at 1:26 PM on December 4, 2006

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