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Old 11-01-2012, 05:25 PM   #1
bamagirl@hrt
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How Scary is it Really to Drive in LA?

Next summer we are planning a SoCal vacation. This will include time at Disneyland and will end in San Diego, where my husband will attend a national conference. We want to spend some time in Hollywood/LA. I'm trying to decide if we should drive and plan our own touring or take a day tour from Anaheim. We don't drive in big cities regularly, but have driven in San Francisco, DC, and Atlanta. What do you recommend?
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:10 PM   #2
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Not that scary, freeways get congested in the early morning and afternoons. You can use a GPS for directions. You will be fine.
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Old 11-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #3
bamagirl@hrt
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Thanks! That's exactly what I was hoping to hear. I think we'd prefer to have the freedom to do our own thing over being tied down to a tour itinerary. However, I am very intrigued by the Adventures by Disney one day tour.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamagirl@hrt View Post
We don't drive in big cities regularly, but have driven in San Francisco, DC, and Atlanta.
No difference really than those three cities. More spread out, more freeways, but about the same.
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:31 PM   #5
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I've never driven in Atlanta, but I'd rank LA as easier than DC or San Francisco. Just give yourself plenty of time and use a GPS with a map as backup. The amount of freeways is large, but it's like a grid -- if you miss a turn you can probably take an acceptable alternate route.

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Old 11-06-2012, 04:09 PM   #6
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LA is better that Melbourne for driving
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamagirl@hrt View Post
Next summer we are planning a SoCal vacation. This will include time at Disneyland and will end in San Diego, where my husband will attend a national conference. We want to spend some time in Hollywood/LA. I'm trying to decide if we should drive and plan our own touring or take a day tour from Anaheim. We don't drive in big cities regularly, but have driven in San Francisco, DC, and Atlanta. What do you recommend?
I drive in it everyday and you'll be fine.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:09 PM   #8
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I sure hope you're all right! This Dec trip will be my first attempt at driving in LA, and it's the thing I'm most stressed out over! :P
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:00 AM   #9
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I have been driving LA freeways for almost 40 years. Yes, there is congestion around LA and Hollywood everyday. The freeways are convenient. However, you have to drive defensively. Watch for speeders and chronic lane changers. People use the carpool lane as a passing lane. People signal and come in your space immediately without warning. People wait until the last minute to merge or exit. I hate knowing my son drives the freeways as a new driver. It can be nuts out here.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:30 PM   #10
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What is frustrating is how long it takes to go short distances. Just know that traffic can be heavy all day, everday. Signage is good and freeways crisscross everywhere so it isnt hard, just busy...
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:37 PM   #11
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Driving in Memphis, Tn is way worse! We didn't think driving LA area was bad at all
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danaesacto View Post
What is frustrating is how long it takes to go short distances. Just know that traffic can be heavy all day, everday. Signage is good and freeways crisscross everywhere so it isnt hard, just busy...
Is it less congested on the weekends, or is it slow to get around town all the time?
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:50 AM   #13
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Is it less congested on the weekends, or is it slow to get around town all the time?
I don't live there- so I am sure locals must know some areas that are lighter on weekends- but as a tourist we found the whole general LA area to be a 7 day a week go, go, go town- it is busier down there later into the evening than it is up here, weekends are almost as busy as weekdays- by the time the weekend rolls around it seems everyone wants to be somewhere else- and they all have to drive to get there- when it is nice the freeways leading to the beaches back up for example...
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:57 AM   #14
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Growing up in Chicago - I don't find driving in LA that different - with one MAJOR exception - motorcycles are allowed to drive inbetween lanes of traffic! That really freaked me out the first time. I wasn't used to looking for them flying past between me and the next lane of traffic, especially when traffic was slow.

Be safe!
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingBelle
Growing up in Chicago - I don't find driving in LA that different - with one MAJOR exception - motorcycles are allowed to drive inbetween lanes of traffic! That really freaked me out the first time. I wasn't used to looking for them flying past between me and the next lane of traffic, especially when traffic was slow.

Be safe!
I've seen that several times lately on the Dan Ryan, at really crazy speeds, too. (Though not on other Chicago expressways, oddly--maybe south siders are just less risk averse!)
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