Yeah yeah yeah traffic. It’s clearly one of the first things people think of when they think “Los Angeles”. I get it, I had some pretty bad experiences driving to and from LA when I was in college, but it’s weird the shift I’ve made in attitude towards the whole debacle since moving here. Maybe because its just something I deal with everyday? Maybe I don’t really have anywhere to be in a hurry anymore? I don’t know, but it’s strange the change of heart you may experience if you become an LA resident. Don’t get me wrong I have plenty of outings where I’d really like to slam my head into my steering wheel and shout “GO.” but I’ve come a long way, and at least I don’t cry in traffic anymore. Yes, I used to cry. You would too if you had a 110 mile round trip commute to and from Orange County! When I was commuting, my “bosses” at my internship were nice enough to try and help work around a less traffic-y time, but no matter what I tried I was defeated. I discovered it didn’t actually matter what time it was at all; traffic was everywhere, all the time. Two years later the tears have dried up and a recipe for peace has been born.
So how do we all deal with it? What must we accept? Here are a few ideas….
1. Learn to accept it taking you at least 30 minutes to go 3 miles.
3 miles is like going 15 in LA miles.
2. Unprotected left turns will be the most stressful part of your drive.
Assume the person in front of you is texting, asleep, or a chicken shit.
3. Don’t even bother driving around if its sprinkling.
Fact: people forget how to drive here in the rain. Sure, first rains are kinda dangerous but we have no excuse after that!
4. Learn to love podcasts. Learn some shit.
Edumacation (Smodcast) is my personal favorite right now; I could listen to Kevin Smith ramble on topics, high out of his mind, for hours. Zoning out = zen.
5. Stay away from the 110, 405, Santa Monica, Sunset, and Hollywood Blvd. … and the 10, while I’m at it
Just trust me. There are other ways to get to your destination. Figure it out.
6. Only use the freeways before noon on weekends.
Apparently no ones awake. Or out. Its borderline creepy.
7. Construction will cause irritation.
We’re constantly “constructing”. Oh and “Detour”? In your dreams. A sign for a detour is usually just a friendly reminder for you to figure it out on your own.
8. Learn to use your maps app(s) to find quickest ways to your destination.
News flash: freeways are usually not the fastest way.
9. There’s a lot of angry, complacent, confused, aggressive, unaggressive, and terrified drivers in LA. Don’t be any of these adjectives.
There’s clearly a reason car insurance is so expensive if you live in LA. Avoid getting in accidents by being the exact opposite to what is listed above. ie: happy, present, alert, calm
10. The roads are ruled by Pri-i (Prius plural) and their drivers.
Accept it. Move on.
11. Driving 5-10 miles over the speed limit is a treat.
Open streets and freeways feel weird, yet exciting. Like a trip to Vegas.
“Accept it and move on” is the general attitude to have when driving in LA. You will encounter a vast array of emotions from hatred to humor, but as strange as it sounds you will find some peace if you do in fact need to get in a car and drive somewhere. At the very least don’t be an idiot: try living close to your job, take shortcut advice from people who live here, use the metro, or tack on an extra 20-30 mins to add to your travel time and you may find getting around LA ain’t so bad after all.