L.A. Driving Instructions HELP!

Old Jul 29th, 2004, 11:49 AM
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L.A. Driving Instructions HELP!

OK - here's the situation: Due to some weird scheduling (which can't be changed!), I need to drive from La Jolla to Santa Barbara on a Monday morning. I know, I know, I'm crazy but there's no getting around it so....I could use your help. What time should I leave LaJolla? Is there a particular freeway through L.A. that's better than another or should I try to take an alternate route (like Hiway 1)?? I'm trying to avoid as much rush hour traffic as possible and still get to my destination by late morning. Is this possible? Thanks in advance.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 12:19 PM
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Norbie, Can you leave late the night before? It is a 3 hour drive under the best conditions and almost no matter what time you leave in the morning you will hit traffic somewhere. Don't take Hwy 1 it would not be any better.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 12:20 PM
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I would allow for 5-6 hours depending on what time you leave La Jolla. Traffic, especially heading into LA in the AM can be a nightmare.
I'd leave La Jolla no later than 6 AM, but then you'll still hit LA at rush hour.
The 1 will take you forever. Try the 5 north to the 73 (toll road) to the 405 to the 101 north.
Better would be to go up sunday night.
Good luck!
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 12:23 PM
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Did you try Yahoo Map-ping or Mapquest-ing this itinerary? I don't see this being a huge ordeal, UNLESS there's an accident somewhere along the route.

I envision the following:

-- Get onto I-5 north toward LA.
-- North of the Orange County Line, the I-405 splits off of the 5 (at the "El Toro Y"). Follow the I-405 (bearing RIGHT) into LA County.
-- Once you're in the LA area, you're going to catch the Ventura Freeway-- US 101-- heading west toward Ventura. And I think you stay on US-101 all the way into Santa Barbara.

Around 200 miles-- but I'd say 4. Leave by 7 AM, 7:30 at the latest, and you should get there late morning.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 12:25 PM
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I meant 4 HOURS, naturally. As you're bypassing I-5 traffic going through downtown LA (and that whole awful mess of an East LA interchange), traffic is a bit better on the 405. But not much.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 01:09 PM
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3-hour drive? Are you kidding me? Just because Yahoo Maps says it's a 3 hour drive, doesn't make it so. One word: TRAFFIC

La Jolla to Santa Barbara is more like a 4.5 hour drive, and that's with "normal" traffic. Imagining Monday morning commuter traffic... and yikes! You could easily see it turning into a 5 hour drive. Yes, that's right, 5 hours!!!! Do it the night before - you'll thank yourself in the morning.

Don't take Highway 1 (aka Pacific Coast Highway) - you're not saving yourself any time. Plus, that route doesn't run contiguous from La Jolla to Santa Barbara. And, some parts (like through Long Beach for example) can be downright bad and scuzzy!

I would play it safe and stay on the 5 Freeway from La Jolla, then break off and take the 405 Freeway in Irvine, then it joins up with the 101 Freeway, which takes you right into Santa Barbara.

I HATE driving the 5 Fwy through Orange and LA County - tons of commercial trucks and a very boring and ugly drive.

At least switching to the 405 in Irvine will give you a breather as you head north through LA and onto Ventura County, etc.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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p.s. I've driven from Irvine to Santa Barbara recently on a Friday afternoon, leaving at 3pm and we didn't get to Santa Barbara until almost 8pm! Yup - 5 hours of bumper to bumper traffic, just from Orange County! And, you're coming from San Diego County, too!
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 03:40 PM
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I do this all the time:

take the I-5 north all the way to the 134 West, which turns into the 101 North at the 170.

(A little short cut is to turn north on the 710 (from the 5) to the 10 west and then catch the 5 north from there and you cut out the ELA interchange)

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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 03:50 PM
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I have to disagree with the advice about using the 405 instead of the I-5. I have done both many times and unless there is an accident, the I-5 is always faster because the 405 is many more miles.

My advice, if you cannot leave the night before, is to leave La Jolla by 4:00 am. That way you can get through LA by 6:00 am. Any later than that and you will hit the traffic buildup through LA and both the I-5 and the 405 will be very tough. If you leave at 4:00 am, it will probably take you an hour less for the entire drive, possibly more, than if you leave at 6:00 am or later.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 05:28 PM
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There's a $40 motel 6 about 12 miles south of Santa Barbara in Carpinteria...take the beautiful Sunset drive up the coast on Sunday night...well worth the $40.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 07:52 PM
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You say, "I" need to drive... Does that mean you'll be solo in the car? If there will be another person in the car with you, you can use the carpool lane for several long stretches.
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