Friday, November 7, 2008

Misadventures of Driving in LA

I'm just as proud to be an Angelino as any, but even the most devout LA resident is often driven mad trying to get from one place to another without dying on the road. It's almost like each car trip we take is made to make us thank our lucky stars that we managed to survive the dangerous dance humans play as we speedily control these multi-ton vehicles around.

I had once dreamt to grow up to be a civil engineer, and I think that was once realized after all the times I've had to travel on a few of the most dangerous and annoying driving areas in LA.

Although this can be an ongoing series in itself, I'd like to share my top 5 least enjoyable driving areas in Los Angeles (in no particular order).

The 101 South/110 South Freeway Interchange along the Downtown Exits
Whoever figured that a major freeway's transition into another freeway right where there are a slew of very confusing offramps in the city's center must have been on drugs. I do not understand why the 101 drivers freak out and drive like they never were behind a wheel as they frantically try to merge onto the 110 when they never realize they don't even need to change lanes as they have a dedicated lane that will happily lead them into the freeway! I always loathe having to exit Downtown because of this, because those 1,200 feet of interchange is just a constant death trap - if it doesn't kill you, it just makes you more bitter with life.

10 Freeway Offramps
As semi-irritating it is to have particular offramps for streets on one direction of the freeway to another, I sometimes think I'd rather have exits at every other major street when it comes to a lot of the offramps for the 10 freeway through the San Gabriel Valley. Both the east and westbound exits have separate exits for the north and south bound sides of the street. Yay Convenience! The only thing is, usually the first offramp comes way too soon when you're not properly slowed down, causing you to practically screech to a halt in order to make your turn and prevent you from running into dangerously opposing traffic who are trying to get ON the freeway. If you're trying to get to the second offramp, you have to make sure you avoid these cars trying to jump on, who usually aren't ramped up to speed just yet. I'm usually holding my breath and pray I survive each time I take one of these exits.

The 605 South/10 East - 10 West/605 South Interchange
I just don't understand this. Both freeways are pretty big, yet someone thought that instead of putting a perfectly efficient cloverleaf for this half of this interchange (as they have half of one on the other side), they decided to create a 436ft. two-lane driving space where 605 southbound drivers have to try to get on the 10 east at the exact time 10 westbound drivers want to get on the 605 south. Let's not mention how fast drivers from both freeways go in/out of this's just not cool.

The 5/101/10 East & West/60 Freeways Interchange
Just look at it. In order to get from one part of the 10 to another, you have to be on the 5 for a while. Then, the 101 starts off here, but it's a really small offramp. Oh, there's also a way to get to the 60 from all of this, but it's almost put there as an afterthought. Don't ask me how many times I was tired/in a rush/stupid/etc. while trying to get somewhere and I invariably wind up taking the wrong offramp and wind up on the other side of the city before realizing that's not the direction I wanted to go. Sure, I'm responsible for my stupidity, but really, this area doesn't make it that hard to make anyone drive like an idiot.

The I-10 Freeway
I just hate this freeway. It's unattractive, more often than not always full of traffic, and is a necessary evil to go around LA. I can't even begin to explain my hatred for this freeway. Have you ever had to pee so bad, perhaps you had to pee while suffering from a uniary tract infection, but you were comfortable sitting/lying down while being extremely mentally/physically/emotionally exausted at the moment, that the however long trip it would take to get you to the toilet makes you wish you just had a bedpan? That's how I feel about the 10 freeway.



  1. I'll never top the greatness and graphicality of this post. YES, THIS IS A COMPETITION!


  3. It's not my fault, my keyboard has Tourette's! Is that an original joke? I really, really hope it is.

  4. I'm just going to tell you yes before this becomes typing terrorism.

  5. corazon: this is funny

    frank: you've been served

    - edgar