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Reality check on LAX traffic (and how to get to the cell phone parking lot)

Reality check on LAX traffic (and how to get to the cell phone parking lot)

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Old Aug 23, 18, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by chrisl137 View Post
I think this is the route I usually walk. It's not necessarily the fastest, but it works. You can also through the 3rd level of the parking lot, but I don't think it saves you any time and if you have luggage you have to get up and down.
Sorry for more questions....

How to you get from the northern end of the white path on the map to the cell phone lot?

Is the bridge you mention the one on Vicksburg Ave?
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Old Aug 23, 18, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by ajGoes View Post
How to you get from the northern end of the white path on the map to the cell phone lot?

Is the bridge you mention the one on Vicksburg Ave?
You continue on Vicksburg and it takes you up the bridge, east over Sepulveda, and on down to the cell phone lot - no turns required (or more accurately, Vicksburg takes care of all the turns), though you could also take 96th. The Lot C bus picks up on the upper level at each terminal and does the same thing. I walk it fairly often becaue lot C buses got to be very infrequent for a while, and sometimes are all full by the time they get to T7.
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Old Aug 23, 18, 7:42 am
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Originally Posted by chrisl137 View Post
You continue on Vicksburg and it takes you up the bridge, east over Sepulveda, and on down to the cell phone lot - no turns required (or more accurately, Vicksburg takes care of all the turns), though you could also take 96th. The Lot C bus picks up on the upper level at each terminal and does the same thing. I walk it fairly often becaue lot C buses got to be very infrequent for a while, and sometimes are all full by the time they got to T7.
Got it, thanks. I'll give it a try next Friday.
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Old Aug 23, 18, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by ajGoes View Post
Got it, thanks. I'll give it a try next Friday.
I just looked back at the satellite view, and you have to take Vicksburg - there's not a light at 96th and Sepulveda to get across Sepulveda, so you'd end up going up the stairs on the bridge to get across anyway.
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Old Aug 23, 18, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by chrisl137 View Post
I just looked back at the satellite view, and you have to take Vicksburg - there's not a light at 96th and Sepulveda to get across Sepulveda, so you'd end up going up the stairs on the bridge to get across anyway.
Good to know, thanks. I'll have a rollaboard so I'll want to avoid stairs.

Not having to wait at arrivals (or departures, which is less awful but not a great experience) will definitely be worth a ten-minute walk.
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Old Aug 23, 18, 10:57 am
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Your other option is to just go east on Century @ Vicksburg on the ground level. This route is walked pretty frequently by passengers/crew staying in the closer hotels, such as the Hyatt. You can then make a left at Sepulveda or Vicksburg to go north.

As for drop-off, if your driver can get into Park One (aka Park 'N Fly) and out quickly, that's the closest. It used to be a 15-min grace period, but don't know if that still exists.
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Old Aug 23, 18, 11:48 am
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The red path is if you want to use Vicksburg (upper level roadway) to cell phone waiting lot - you can exit T7 from the upper level and use the parking garage to reach T1.

The blue path is you want to use Worldway (lower level roadway) to cell phone waiting lot - you can cut across the T7 parking lot to save time.

Either path will take about 10 minutes if you walk fast, 15 minutes if you walk slow. The lower level path is more direct but has more crossings. The upper level is longer but fewer crossings.



The two green X marks the spots that you can get dropped off and walk in to the terminals. Note that neither are technically legal drop offs - one is located on private property (Hyatt driveway/parking lot) and the other is a bus stop. I've done both and never had a problem but your results may vary. I've also found that you can pull over anywhere on Vicksburg between 96th st and Century Blvd to get out of the car if you do it discretely... don't take a long time, just grab your bags and go. Your Uber driver may not like this idea because I believe this area is geofenced but never hurt to ask them because trust me, it is faster to walk from Hyatt to T4 than sitting in the car during peak morning hours when all the Uber an Lyft cars are using the upper level.

Of course you can always drop off at the cell phone waiting lot as well and walk across the street to the LAX shuttle stop (green circle) and take the shuttle to the terminal.
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Last edited by bzcat; Aug 23, 18 at 12:20 pm
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Old Aug 23, 18, 1:33 pm
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The Long Beach Flyaway is an godsend for my trips to LAX: nonstop to/from downtown Long Beach to LAX, usually in 30-40 minutes or less, for the low price of $8 ($9 without a Metro TAP card). The ride from LB to LAX hits traffic in the morning, and the bus from LAX to LB hits traffic in the afternoon, but it almost never takes more than an hour (and since it is non-stop, it is no slower than a ride/taxi/uber/etc). The bus leaves both LAX and LB every hour at the X:30, so it is easy to plan around. Regardless of where in LB you are, almost all local buses start or end downtown, so it is easy even if you can't get a ride to the Flyaway stop (it is 2 blocks walk for me). I used to pick up out-of-town visitors at LAX, but now we just have them ride the FlyAway, and that has worked out well for us and them.

The traffic from SNA to LB can be just as nasty if not worse than to LAX. LGB is a great airport, but you are limited in destinations.
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Old Aug 23, 18, 3:01 pm
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Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
The red path is if you want to use Vicksburg (upper level roadway) to cell phone waiting lot - you can exit T7 from the upper level and use the parking garage to reach T1.

The blue path is you want to use Worldway (lower level roadway) to cell phone waiting lot - you can cut across the T7 parking lot to save time.
This is great, thanks! I guess the green path at the top right shows the short walk from the Lot C shuttle drop-off to the cell lot.

It looks like the challenging bit of both the red and the blue paths is getting from one side of the World Way U to the other. I'm thinking the blue path would be a little easier because once you get to the eastern end of P7 parking, you can see a bit of where you're going. I'm probably not the only person who has more trouble getting oriented in an enclosed space than outdoors, even if "outdoors" is the mostly featureless environs of LAX.
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Old Aug 25, 18, 12:09 pm
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I don't know if I would say that traffic at LAX is overblown. I missed a flight at LAX because of the traffic - 2 years ago. It took 90 minutes to from from the Westin on Century to T1. I got out and ran from T1 and still didn't make it.

However, I flew two weeks ago from LAX (same time of day) and it took about 15 minutes to get from the rental car lot (not too far from the Westin) to T4.

One thing that must absolutely be done at some point at LAX is the construction and development of a consolidated rental car facility - one that is serviced by dedicated light rail/people mover or by a set of consolidated buses. The demolition derby that exists among the rental car shuttles, remote lot shuttles, hotel shuttles and Uber/Lyft is unacceptable for what is one of the largest airports in North America.
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Old Aug 25, 18, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
One thing that must absolutely be done at some point at LAX is the construction and development of a consolidated rental car facility - one that is serviced by dedicated light rail/people mover or by a set of consolidated buses.
An Automated People Mover connecting the terminal loop with a consolidated car rental facility, the city transportation center and the long term parking lot is expected to be fully operational in 2023.

Please discuss that project in the following thread:
LAX Landside Access Modernization Program
Thank you,

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Old Aug 25, 18, 3:48 pm
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
I don't know if I would say that traffic at LAX is overblown. I missed a flight at LAX because of the traffic - 2 years ago. It took 90 minutes to from from the Westin on Century to T1. I got out and ran from T1 and still didn't make it.

However, I flew two weeks ago from LAX (same time of day) and it took about 15 minutes to get from the rental car lot (not too far from the Westin) to T4.
It's the inconsistency that makes it more difficult, and the alternates around the choke points have been getting clogged up, too. Back when they had Lot B, you could get off at Aviation, park there, and take the shuttle pretty reliably. It's farther than lot C, but I think it was $1/day cheaper and less traffic to get to. Lot B buses ran more frequently on the return, too. The bus went up Aviation so it avoided the tunnel. Things got worse with Uber and Lyft because they've essentially replaced the shared-ride shuttle services (Supershuttle, Primetime, and the third one that went out of business a long time ago) with a larger number of single-trip vehicles. The shuttles were unappealing because they always wanted to pick you up 4 hours before your flight and they cost as much as a Lyft or Uber. The increased number of vehicles has really jammed the entry points to the airport - there were only three shared ride services because there had previously been no restriction and there were large numbers of shared ride vans (sometimes single vehicle companies) circling the loop and clogging up traffic. The reduction in the size of Lot C by ~2/3 has also made it even worse to drive yourself - it's basically maxed out all the time, as are many of the more expensive private lots if you didn't book in advance, which forces more people to take Uber and Lyft and clog up the airport entry...
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Old Aug 28, 18, 1:31 am
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For me, it has been consistently bad, and progressively worse. I go there at all time of day, and I do admit it does get a little better at redeye times (like after 10 PM, and WN doesn't have any redeyes). It used to be that once you got past T1 and the WN crowd, it got better, but no longer. Some taxi and car service drivers blame Delta's move to T2 and T3.

Below is my favorite billboard at LAX, taken - you guessed it - while stuck on traffic. Note how open and uncrowded the T2 is . Is the rendering taken at 3 AM on the day of a holiday, or something?

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Old Aug 28, 18, 12:03 pm
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chrisl137 nailed the problem... it's Uber and Lyft. People who used to take shuttles or drive to long term parking are now taking ride share to the terminals so the number of cars entering the loop has significantly increased at peak hours. And because LAWA makes ride share cars use the upper level only, it means all that traffic is forced thru the same two entrance to the upper level roadways (the lower roadway has 4 points of entry).

My opinion is that LAWA needs to re-balance the mode separation and take all the parking shuttles out of the upper level and leave the upper level to people who insist on using cars to get to the terminal. That way only those people suffer from the congestion they created. Right now, there is a huge inequity of burden placed on people who park offsite at long term parking and use the shuttle. They are unfairly penalized by the traffic created by Uber and Lyft.

So my plan is basically:
  • Upper level: private cars, Uber, Lyft
  • Lower level inner curb: taxi and hotel shuttle and long distance bus/shuttle
  • Lower level center curb: parking and rental car shuttle

Last edited by bzcat; Aug 28, 18 at 12:11 pm
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Old Aug 28, 18, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
So my plan is basically:
  • Upper level: private cars, Uber, Lyft
  • Lower level inner curb: taxi and hotel shuttle and long distance bus/shuttle
  • Lower level center curb: parking and rental car shuttle
I like the separation you outline except for the way it subjects most arriving passengers to the little inferno of the lower level. It'd be nice if most visitors arriving in Los Angeles didn't have that noisy, smoky, nasty place as their first experience of southern California. I guess that will all be a thing of the past when the new transport center opens though, so your plan would be a good interim solution.
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