Triangle Trip

Best route from Hollywood/Burbank to LAX during LA rush hour

by on May.19, 2009, under Business Travel, Vacation

Given our 6+ months of experience dealing with Los Angeles traffic on a weekly basis, we would like to share with you a key route to avoid rush hour traffic traveling from the Valley to Los Angeles International (LAX). There are plenty options that takes you from the San Fernando Valley (Burbank, Glendale, Hollywood, etc.) to LAX. The options are:

1. CA-134 West to the US-101 North to the I-405 South — This is the worst option because the US-101 to I-405 merge is the worst traffic junction in the US. The 405 South is a disaster from the hill to the I-10 connection (probably a top 5 worst traffic bottleneck in the US).  Going through two of the top five worst traffic junctions is not a good idea.

2. US-101 South to I-110 South — US-101 South is generally bad when heading downtown. The merge from US-101 to I110 is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles which is one of the worst connectors in the US.

3.  I5 South to I-110 South to the I-105 — You will need to merge twice with downtown traffic. The first merge is the I-5 to the I-110. The second merge is the I-110 with US-101.

ALL the options listed has its major bottlenecks. We have figured a way to modify Option 3 and cut our commute time from the Valley to LAX by 30 minutes compared to the normal bumper to bumper route.

Here are the step by step directions:

1.  Take Interstate 5 South which is normally clear until you get to Los Feliz Exit (Griffith Park).  Right as traffic is building up, you will see CA-2 the Glendale Freeway.

2.  Get on CA-2 (Glendale Freeway) South. CA-2 South ends in about a mile and turns into Glendale Blvd. Stay on your left when you hit Glendale Blvd (after the freeway ends). Go on Glendale Blvd for about 1.2 miles through local streets (passing Echo Park which is to your right) until Glendale Blvd ends.

3. When Glendale Blvd ends, you will see West 1st and West 2nd Street (see map). Make sure you bare left and go onto W2nd Street.

4.  Stay on West 2nd Street until you have passed an underpass (which is I-110) and make a right at the light onto Figueroa Street.

5.  Once you’re on Figueroa, make a right on the next light which is West 3rd Street.

6.  On West 3rd Street, you will see the on-ramp for I-110 (Harbor Freeway) South.

7.  Take I-110 Harbor Freeway South until you see I-105. There will be plenty of signs pointing you to LAX. The I-110 Harbor Freeway also has a bonus: the carpool lane.

8.  Take I-105 West and exit Sepulveda which will take you straight to LAX, rental car return facilities and long term parking garages.

The above driving directions help you avoid the I-5 to I-110 merge as well as the I-110 and US-101 merge in downtown Los Angeles. These two junctions are one of the worst in America.

We hope you find these directions to be helpful. Feel free to leave us your comment or suggestions of better routes.

Captain G & Statusmonger

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9 comments for this entry:
  1. Bombadil

    Depending upon where you are in Hollywood, why get on the freeway at all? Take surface streets to Fairfax – ideally joining it south of Pico to avoid slowdowns in Little Ethiopia. Fairfax joins La Cienaga. Take that to La Tijera. The speed limit on La Cienega south of Rodeo is 55. Starting from Wilshire and Fairfax it takes only about 30 minutes to get to lax using this route.

  2. admin

    Great tip on the La Cienaga route. Taking local streets is a great option. However we have had experienced street level accidents/nightmares and poor street signs in LA. We do not recommend this route to novice LA commuters.

  3. Julie S.

    Thank you so much for posting this! We were visiting San Diego and L.A. this past week and a half, and left L.A. through LAX this morning. We stayed in North Hollywood, and with this route, at 6:30/7:00 this morning, it took us 45 minutes to get to LAX! Your directions were perfect. Thank you so much!

  4. admin

    @ Julie S: Glad that we were able to help! Thanks for visiting our site.

  5. Gale

    Will these routes work in reverse? I land at LAX at 4pm and have to drive to Burbank.

  6. admin

    This route works in reverse as well. If you’re going to Burbank from LAX, I think La Cienega can be a lot faster.

  7. Cynthia

    I’m going to try it tomorrow from Burbank.
    Thank you so much for publishing this.

  8. Tripping Blonde

    Thank you for this! I’m going to test it out during Friday rush hour on my next business trip. LA traffic is THE worst!!

  9. Liz

    Is this route to LAX still good as of today, 8/29/19? Need to go during rush hour tomorrow!

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