Q: Can you recommend a good way to avoid Los Angeles traffic over Labor Day? "... We are going to Disneyland and want your advice on the best route to take to bypass that godawful traffic in Southern California. "... How can we get to San Diego without having to take I-405?
Mary Hastings, Fred Diaz, Samantha F. and more
A: This is a day for tips on getting around the state, courtesy of Roadshow readers.
To Anaheim: Take I-5 to I-210 to Highway 57 to Katella Avenue. You can also exit on Ball Road, which is the north entrance to the Disneyland area.
To San Diego: Highway 73 between I-405 in Costa Mesa and I-5 in Mission Viejo is a good bypass between Los Angeles and San Diego. It does have a toll section between Irvine and Mission Viejo (Laguna Hills Toll Road), which is one reason it isn't bogged down. The toll road offers a shortcut via John Wayne Airport/Costa Mesa to San Juan Capistrano. It is scenic, usually not congested and takes FasTrak at full speed.
If heading to Arizona, some save 20 to 40 minutes by taking I-5 to I-210 to I-10. (You can also take I-215 to get from I-210 to I-10.) I-10 can be a mess with expansion projects in the hills, but it opens up after that.
And this final tip: Never drive on an L.A. freeway at rush hour unless you want to see the snails pass you.
Q: I'm very fond of our new asphalt army on Highway 101. They have a finely tuned regiment of machine and men whose coordination of motion is amazing. I'd like to help them by staying out of their way, but it seems Sigalert.com has gone into a coma. Last Wednesday night I checked 101 construction on my iPhone -- all green and no alerts. But three lanes were shut down. I tried calling 511, but nobody was home. Can you send an ambulance over there to check on them?
A: This is frustrating. The lane closings were posted to 511.org at 11:04 p.m. that night, but the impact of late-night construction delays don't always make the traffic alerts you tried. Here is what I suggest: If you run into a problem like this, report it to KCBS at 415-495-5227 or KLIV at 408-575-1600. Fellow motorists will appreciate it.
Q: Here is the easiest way to avoid the mess at the Golden Gate Bridge when coming from Mendocino: Take the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge down to I-880. I always go this route. No toll. No city driving.
A: And "...
Q: My fiance and I are thinking of taking a trip down to Carmel or Monterey on Friday. Would it be better to leave early, knowing that everyone else will be leaving work early, or wait until 7 p.m. or 8 p. m.? And what is the better way to go -- 17-1 or 101-156-1?
A: Highway 101 to 156 is by far the best way to connect to Highway 1. And leave as early as possible.
Q: I learned a trick from big-rig truckers. When a truck wants to pass, the overtaken driver blinks high beams to let the trucker know that his rig has cleared the vehicle he's passing and can safely merge back into the lane in front. Would you let 4-door drivers know that when another car does this from the freeway at an onramp, it's a clue that I am going to let him in front of me (and maybe he can find his accelerator sooner). It doesn't mean I want them to move out of my way. I learned this as a kid on interstate road trips. Does anyone else do this?
A: I do. This is common in the Midwest; not so common in California. Some drivers will also turn their lights off and back on to indicate that it's safe to merge in front of them. Either way, it's a nice, courteous thing to do.
Q: The intersection at Portola Street and Junipero Serra Boulevard in the Sunset District of San Francisco has been awful lately. They've been doing construction there forever. One morning I was in line for 30 minutes, which made me late for a work meeting.
A: There have been some problems with the video detection equipment. This should be fixed, but the better news is that all lanes should reopen this weekend.
Contact Gary Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-920-5335.