I hate driving on the highway in LA #SOL18

March 17, 2018

Okay, so I got my car in January, which means I have officially been driving the mean streets of LA for two solid months, so clearly I have opinions.

Driving in LA is terrible, btw. I mean, yeah, sure, traffic but that’s not even the worst of it (it might be the worst of it–I don’t have to commute to work), but I have some ideas why the traffic is so bad, and it’s not just the volume of people/cars on the roads.

So, yes, I hate driving in LA. Here’s why:

1. The on-ramps are too short.

You know how you’re supposed to speed up to get on the highway (sorry, FREEWAY as they’re called here) and match the flow of traffic. Yeah, well, good luck with that since most of the exits I’ve experienced leave no space for that. It’s very much, “Okay, let me speed up oh no merge now.” So you basically have to stop in order to merge because you can’t actually gain any speed.

2. The lanes merge with no warning.

Speaking of merging, so many lanes here just end with NO WARNING. I guess if you’re super familiar with the freeway, you will know when this is about to happen. But if not, guess what? You’ll be driving along and suddenly two lanes are one and you only realize it because that other car is super close oh wait no totally in your lane. Because they’re now one and there was no sign announcing that it would be so.

3. Several freeways, highways, routes, interchanges, etc. all merge into one at one time.

And guess where my exit is? Yep, across four lanes of traffic all merging onto one highway.

4. The lanes are skinny.

Okay, this applies less to the highways and more to driving in my town, but I swear the right turn lanes are exactly the width of a sedan.

5. Everything is spread pretty far out.


Five miles? Thirteen miles? It will take you twenty minutes. Unless you’re going farther than 15 because then it could take forever. Mostly because…


6. The traffic is not fun.

Okay, I wasn’t going to mention the traffic because I don’t experience it in my daily commute. (I am hashtag blessed to live two miles from my job. If I listen to music in the morning, I get to work before or just as a song ends. So, yes, my commute is the length of a song.) Plus, it’s such an easy and obvious answer.

HOWEVER, it does suck that it can take an hour to drive 20 miles (or fewer!) on the weekend because there’s almost always a back up. And, again, I really only do this about once a month, so it is a minimal complaint for me. I am mostly bugged because the traffic makes it even harder to maneuver 1-3 above. Oh, and everything starts late because people are always late because traffic is pretty terrible.

But, still, anyone who has sat in traffic knows how much it sucks. Except it is a good way to make progress on an audiobook. Bright side!

Slice of Life Challenge

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

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  1. Ally Bean

    I don’t envy you driving the highways of LA. I’ve been through LA a few times when on vacation and it’s a nightmare– worse than Atlanta even. So many signs over the road, so many lanes. Best of luck, and stay safe.

  2. mbhmaine

    One of the great joys in living in Maine is that I don’t have to deal with the congestion, traffic and sheer volume of paved surfaces that you do. I like the casual tone of your piece as you list your grievances–which again make me cringe! After reading your slice, the wintry scene outside my window doesn’t look nearly so bad!

  3. readingteachsu

    The end made me laugh and nod. I still am not acclimated to the New England roads and routinely complain about driving here. I do enjoy podcasts and audiobooks on my commute which lessens the blow.

  4. Elisabeth Ellington

    “My commute is the length of a song.” Hilarious line! I have a 60 mile commute, but thankfully there is absolutely no traffic. I do have to slam on the brakes at least once or twice a week, though, for deer, antelope, or wild turkeys running across the road!

  5. glenda funk

    Yes, LA traffic is a nightmare and all you say about the highway system is true. I would struggle living there w/ out being close to my job. I love that you ranted and ended w/ “bright side” to switch the tone. Happy trails!


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