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Old 02-20-2013, 02:04 PM
zdg zdg started this thread
 
Location: Sonoma County
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We live in Sonoma County and will be driving to LA to visit my parents in March. For the first time we'll just be taking I-5 instead of taking a more scenic route or flying.

Because we are retired and have flexibility on timing, I was wondering what the best days of the week and times of day we should plan our road trip to avoid as much traffic (ha, I know) as possible.

We'll be jumping on the 5 just south of Stockton and taking it all the way to LA. Much appreciated.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:19 PM
 
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As you will be traveling in March so you will avoid holiday traffic which is a big help - I suggest Monday through Thursday as weekend traffic does start to get heavy on Fridays sometime. Starting early AM you should be fine until you get over the Grapevine and start decending into LA. Once you get past Valencia the traffic becomes nightmareish later in the day. Where are you headed in LA?
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:27 PM
zdg zdg started this thread
 
Location: Sonoma County
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Westwood, right off the 405.

So you really think weekDAY would be that much better than weekEND? I know that if we leave Sonoma to start heading toward I-5 (through/around Oakland), we'd be sitting in bumper to bumper traffic from 7am until at least 9am -- and most of that is just in North Bay up to the bridge. That's what we want to avoid as much as we can.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:36 PM
 
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Weekday definitely from Stockton down. Don't hit the morning commute in Stockton either which can slow ya down a bit, but not horribly I don't think as you're heading south. Traffic may thicken up a bit around Santa Clarita though and on down when ya get down there in the early evening.

Been a few years since I've been up in Stockton for the morning commute though.

Wave at the McDonalds in Kettleman City as you drive by. The owner I worked for in college owned that one also and would periodically send a shift manager over when needed. They hated that drive, haha.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:39 PM
 
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I've done Orange County to San Jose/Oakland a few times. Unless you leave at a really odd time like 3am or 1pm, you're going to hit traffic on one end or the other. At least heading into LA, you're not going too deep and most people are heading north through the passes to go home in the evening.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:39 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
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I agree with Social D---weekday is actually better, if you start early. Most of the 5 is only 2 lanes anyway, one pretty much for trucks. The traffic is light through much of the whole middle of the state.
But remember to check the weather for the Cajon Pass (the Grapevine) because at 4100 feet, it can get snow in the wintertime.

The 5 goes right to the 405, get off at Wilshire (likely) so only 2 freeways the whole trip!
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:49 PM
 
Location: SoCal & Mid-TN
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The worst time, IMO, would be to hit LA on a Sunday afternoon when people are coming home from weekend trips. Friday or Saturday you'll hit people travelling. M-Th definitely best idea. I agree on checking the weather. The Grapevine was closed this morning because of ice. In March, you just never know. Also, you don't say when in March, so FYI, March 1-4 the 405 will be down to 2 lanes due to road construction through the Sepulveda Pass (which you have to come through to get to Westwood).
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:08 PM
 
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Wow - a double whammy! Getting from Sonoma to the I 5 and then hitting the 405 here late in the day.....
Aside from the obvious super early departure at 4AM (no fun) I don't know how you avoid the heavy traffic from Sonoma to the 5.
Still believe M-Th is better than weekends, especially on Sundays as already mentioned. Going from the 5 to the 405 will take much patience but there's really no better option getting to Westwood.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:15 PM
zdg zdg started this thread
 
Location: Sonoma County
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Alright. Well, I seriously appreciate everyone's help here.

How long should it take to get from the Bay Area to LA if we do this in the middle of the day on a weekday? What would be the best time (reasonably) to hit LA so we're not just sitting in a parking lot all evening?
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:20 PM
 
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Accounting for traffic and all 8-9 hours or so, I think. Never actually made that drive in one piece, hehe.
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