Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Daily Battle that is LA Traffic




You know how in some movies there are fates worse than death? What if I told you that fate would be stuck in LA traffic for the rest of your life? *shudder*

LA traffic is notoriously awful, especially when the President comes to town. It seems no matter how early or late you leave, there's traffic. Carpool can be helpful, but in some cases it can be just as slow as the rest of traffic!

With that in mind, here are a few tips:

1. The early bird catches the worm.


While it's painful to do as a college student that goes to bed late, waking up early is the best way to ensure you get to work on time and deal with the least amount of traffic (plus if you get to your internship early you can nap in your car). For my trips from Orange to Beverly Hills/West Hollywood, I would usually wake up at 5 AM and be in my car at 6:15.

That being said, I've found that sometimes leaving a few minutes early can change my commute drastically. Case in point: Around 7 AM the northbound side of the 405 between LAX and Santa Monica Boulevard turns into a parking lot. In one case, I left Orange around 6 AM and instead avoided the parking lot completely.

Some internships do have flexible hours, so always ask if you can come in a bit later and stay a bit later.

2. Sigalert.

While many are familiar with Google Maps and Waze (which I have a love-hate relationship with), there is also a website/smartphone app called Sigalert which tracks freeway traffic across LA. It even has traffic cameras so you can see slow areas too.

3. Radio.

                                        














In addition to the top 40 stations around LA where Iggy Azalea gives a daily proclamation of her fanciness, there are some other radio stations that might interest you, including:

KSPN 710 AM: Sports programming through ESPN Radio.

KNX 1070 AM: Plays news on a constant loop. Every ten minutes on the fives (i.e. :05, :15, :25), there are traffic and weather reports.

KPCC 89.9 FM: An NPR affiliate, KPCC produces a heavy amount of news and LA current affairs programming.

KCRW 89.9 FM: While KCRW is also an NPR affiliate with news and LA current affairs programming (both KPCC and KCRW play Morning Edition and All Things Considered from NPR), KCRW is a music lover's dream. At 9 AM, KCRW's morning music show Morning Becomes Eclectic comes on, where host Jason Bentley plays music from a host of different artists (read: I don't know who any of these people are but they sound amazing). Another DJ, Garth Trinidad, comes on at 8 PM to play some more music.

KCRW also has a host of other programs,including some programs about food, travel, and the entertainment industry (see below).

Both KPCC and KCRW are free of commercials, although you may want to not listen during pledge drive when they ask for donations to run the station (not that you shouldn't donate, but hearing donation pleas every five minutes can get very annoying after a while, especially when you're a broke student driving to an unpaid internship).

KROQ 106.7 FM: Plays a ton of alternative/rock music, although it is commercial supported.

KRTH 101.1 FM: Oldies music. I dare you not to sing along when The Supremes come on.

4. Podcasts.

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If you're not a radio person, podcasts are also a great way to take your mind off traffic and driving, Some personal favorites of mine:


KCRW's The Treatment: Screenwriters, directors, and actors speak with KCRW's Elvis Mitchell about their projects.

KCRW's The Business: A weekly radio show about the comings-and-goings of the entertainment industry. Think of it as a less snarky Deadline, but for your ears.

Radiolab: A show that talks about unique topics in science.

This American Life: Part prose, part narrative, and part investigative research, This American Life chooses a theme each week and brings you stories on said theme.

Wait Wait Don't Tell Me: A quiz show that takes a humorous looks at the week's news.They also have a segment where they quiz famous people and various experts on dumb topics (i.e. Scarlett Johanseen was recently quizzed on a British sci-fi show called Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Jeff Bridges was quizzed on The Bridges of Madison County). 


5. Satellite Radio.

If you have the means to do so, consider SiriusXM satellite radio (disclaimer: I am a customer of theirs but I am in no means paid to mention them). They have a ton of genre-specific music stations (including decade-specific and EDM stations, as well as audio feeds of CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and the The Today Show).


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1 comment:

  1. Tks very much for your post.

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