Where's all the traffic?

The San Diego Freeway, I-405 through Los Angeles, is a very busy place. I have heard that the South Bay curve is the most congested stretch of freeway in the country. The 405 and 10 interchange (San Diego and Santa Monica freeways) was congested day or night when I grew up in LA 30+ years ago. But I recently drove through at 6:30pm on a weekday and it looked like a ghost town (this was a few days before the riots and curfews). Just a remarkable change from the normal.

When we take the kids to LA to visit the last 40 miles can take us 2 hours if we hit the area during rush hour. This time we flew through.

Yes, the lock down has helped. Some areas and times are better but it is gradually getting back to the old situation.
I think, more than the businesses, it is the schools/colleges being closed. Taken a lot of kids, professors and staff off the roads.
Also, turns out a lot of people who were going to their offices, didn’t need to and can do the same work from home. So, now they are just staying home, pandemic or not.
Before this, I was considering moving closer to work. Have an 18 mile commute that sometimes used to take more than one hour. Now it is 25 minutes tops. Not moving to any crowded expensive areas any time soon.

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I used to live in San Diego and I sometimes drove to the Bay Area to visit my family. After driving through LA in broad daylight twice, I learned to start my trips around 3 in the morning and blow through downtown LA at over 50, in the dark, around 5am. After I drove pass Santa Barbara, I would find a rest area, inflate an air mattress in the back of my xB, and catch some zzz for 2 hours before continuing.

I guess it depends on where one drives. Around here it’s traffic as usual. I sail right past bumper-to-bumper by riding my bike on the bicycle trails and get some fresh air and exercise at the same time.

Much of the road traffic is caused by people going to and from work and add to that all the folks going to the beaches and traffic gets heavy. People who drive around here just deal with it and it’s not like you’re stuck in traffic a long time. It’s usually short-lived. Get away from the Gulf a short distance and it flows normally, with only minor stoppages in predictable spots.

If you’re retired, even being stuck in traffic isn’t a bad thing if you just relax and take in the natural beauty of the area.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

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Here in New Jersey, all non-essential businesses are still ordered closed, malls, gyms, restaurants, anyplace people would normally go to are closed. My former employer has everyone working remotely, so that’s 500 cars off the road. There is no one on the road here since there is no place to go TO.

I leave the house at 5:30 and take the 101, 134 and the 5 in the mornings . . . most of it on the 134

It’s still pretty light traffic, but even before the virus there was considerable traffic during those early hours

Anyways, I drive a steady 75mph . . . and I’m getting passed as if I’m standing still by guys going 85 or 90

I haven’t seen anybody get pulled over for a ticket in ages

People seem to have a free-for-all mentality at the moment, as far as speed limits go . . .

They’re also blowing red lights like crazy, even worse than before the virus . . . and it’s not even close. I mean people plowing through red lights 2 or 3 seconds after they turned red. Kind of sucks if you’ve got a green light and you have to wait for that whole string of jerks to clear out of the intersection

Travis County Texas, the traffic is almost back to normal school-out traffic. I dread schools reopening. I have to drive past Lake Travis High on 620 in order to get home and it’s a major CF, sometimes it’s so bad that I make a U-turn, continue on 71 and then get back to 620 through Lakeway.
The lockdown sure was nice while it lasted though. I was able tor breeze through Austin to commute to work.

Starting this weekend in NJ, stores can open for indoor shopping–as long as they limit entry to 25% capacity. Additionally, restaurants can offer outdoor dining, as long as tables are spaced appropriately, as long as the employees wear face masks, and as long as customers wear masks at all times–except when eating.

It’s too soon. I’m not going anyplace yet. the airlines aren’t even enforcing the mask rule for fear of provoking those who won’t wear one.

I hear you. My movements are limited to walking in the park, doing yardwork, and one visit each week to the supermarket and to Costco. Going during Costco’s “senior hour” (9-10 AM, M-F) is great. There are very few customers, and I am in and out in ~20 minutes.

My trips are limited to a Walmart grocery pickup every 10 says ot so. Never bought groceries there before but they are the only ones in our area offering free grocery shopping and pickup. You don’t have to even get out of your car, they load everything in your trunk.

Some of their own brand food is surprisingly good.

Not as cheap as cherry picking the sales prices at other supermarkets, but a lot easier and safer.

I have found over the year’s that a lot of the store brand’s are as good or better than the big name brand’s and a much better price.

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The mail and the trash must really build up under those orders, people should be allowed to exit their homes.

405 is empty because everybody is parked in Westwood.

Around here in the Northeast I-95 corridor, traffic has been exceptionally light to the point that the State Police were reminding drivers that just because you can do 80 MPH, doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea.
What’s interesting are the comments of no traffic change from people where the restrictions were dropped early and are now seeing increases in infection. Maybe we’re seeing an experiment in applied Darwinism but for myself, I don’t want my epitaph to read, “The fool couldn’t keep his butt at home”. :wink:

And for those who live in live in less hard hit rural areas or still believe they are “6 foot tall an bullet proof” and “don’t need no damned protection”, good luck 'cause you’re not gonna like it.


Good morning. @bing there have been many times that you didn’t start one of these exchanges, but this isn’t one of them. This was a discussion about traffic and grocery shopping. Not about masks, the reliability of antibody tests, or especially the Holocaust. You knew it was going to offend at least VDC (because this has happened before), and you did it anyway.

@old_mopar_guy I know where you come from in Brooklyn, so it makes sense, but please don’t curse.

Seriously, guys, there are ten million and one places online where you could go pop the libs or cons in the nose and argue about the virus from behind the safety of a computer screen, but it can’t be here. There are only a small handful of people who seem to want to go this route, and many others have signaled they don’t want to.

Thank you. Have a nice Sunday.


When I was growing up down there, my aunt worked in Century City and lived in Irvine. Her commute home every evening included a 40 mile stretch on the 405 that often never exceeded 35mph. She drove a 5-speed but complained that she never shifted past 3rd gear. 25 years later I was living in the Seattle area, where I had friends who had a 30 mile commmute that could take an hour and a half.

Now I live in small town Oregon where I drive 6 miles to work, but since it’s all surface streets with poor design and flow, it takes me 20 minutes. I guess that’s really no different.


Where I live (Oregon) the city shut down pretty hard early on. There was a noticeable improvement in traffic, but it is slowly getting back to normal. Or at least what would be normal for summertime without school buses choking traffic.

Our county started opening up last week, and it’s certainly not soon enough. Schools, music and kids sports have been canceled which is bad enough. I see first hand the economic devastation closing has created in the automotive industry. And for little gain. County-wide we have something like 11 active cases, 2 deaths since March. It’s not that I feel 6-feet tall and bulletproof. If I did I wouldn’t put on a mask and gloves everytime I get into a customer’s car. I wouldn’t have closed our waiting room and made customers stand outside the office when they bring their cars. It’s just that some parts are hit harder than others and managing this at a state level is just painting with too big of a brush.


Traffic is back to normal here. As for COVID 19 I don’t care and never have cared for one second what happens. If I have to wear a mask to enter a place of business I don’t enter.

One thing seems skewed to me and it involves Wal Mart. They have people counting heads at the door, have all of the aisles marked shop this way or that, etc in the name of CV prevention.
Yet during all of this they shuffle all of the merchandise around to far different locations. That in turn leads to a lot of aimless wandering around which seems to me to promote contact among people.
My last trip in should have taken 20 minutes tops. Took an hour and 5…

You know why the merchandise shuffling; to keep people loitering so they will likely end up buying more.


Here in the San Francisco area the traffic has started to grow again but so far it hasn’t come close to the usual gridlock, in part because the University hasn’t reopened yet. Locally that was an enormous cause of traffic jams every single day. Also, many of the employers have discovered they can do pretty well with people working from home a lot, using electronic meetings when needed. It seems likely that will continue for a long time because it’s much cheaper than paying monster rents for office space. Lots of breakfast and lunch places are just not going to reopen, ever.

Big surprise that people did not like commuting.