Carmageddon 2: Navigating With Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Here are the best ways to get to the airport while the 405 is closed.

If you're flying in or out of LAX this weekend during the Carmageddon, it might not be the end of the world, even though this weekend's nickname implies it.

More than 172,000 passengers will travel in or out of Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday and Sunday, according to an airport alert. Though airport officials expect flights to operate normally during Carmageddon weekend, we all know that travelling to and from LAX can be a little unpredictable, regardless of major road construction.

Here are some tips and information to make your LAX trip easier, despite the 10-mile closure of the 405 Freeway.

The obvious tips:

  • Plan ahead. Leave early. Arrive at the ticketing/check-in area at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.
  • Check in online.
  • Consider using alternative transportation such as public or LAX FlyAway buses, shuttles, Metrolink or rapid transit to minimize vehicle traffic.
  • You could also park and stay at a hotel near the airport the night before your flight.

If you are driving, make sure you check real-time traffic conditions (your local Patch site has a traffic conditions map on the homepage) and study the detour maps from Metro (found on Metro board member and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's blog).

If you're coming from the South Bay, Long Beach or other areas south or southeast of LAX:

  • Pacific Coast Highway may be your best bet, but expect traffic. "Motorists driving to or from east or south of LAX may initially believe they will be unaffected because they are coming from directions away from the freeway closure area," according to the alert from the airport. "However, airport officials advise motorists prepare for traffic congestion as they approach the exits from the primary freeways serving LAX: the I-405 and the I-105 Century freeways. Major surface streets leading to/from LAX may also be congested: Imperial Highway and Century Boulevard on the east; and Sepulveda, Aviation and Hawthorne boulevards on the south.
  • The 105 Freeway will be open, but allow extra time in case you hit traffic.

If you're coming from the San Fernando Valley or the northern part of Los Angeles or communities north of the metropolitan area:

  • You'll need to take a 25-mile detour to the 101 and the 10 instead of the 405, or "other regional freeways – most of which lead to downtown Los Angeles. From downtown L.A., freeway traffic will be diverted back to westbound I-10 Santa Monica Freeway to return to the L.A. Westside and beach communities," according to the alert from the airport.
  • You could also take La Cienega into the city to the canyon roads.

If you're coming from the coastal communities north of LAX (Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu, etc.):

  • Expect Lincoln Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway to be slow-going, but your best bet.

Do you have tips for drivers who need to get to or from LAX during Carmageddon? Leave your tips (or your super secret route) in the comments section below.


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