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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)


Old Aug 28, 18, 8:23 pm
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Los Angeles
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Originally Posted by ajGoes View Post
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.
Haha - I loved that on my first visit 20+ years ago. It was a spring evening past dark, warm and kind of hazy, and they were making announcements over the PA outside. My first thought was "Blade Runner".
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Old Aug 28, 18, 8:30 pm
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 10
Parking Spot shuttles are moving back down to arrivals level.

Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
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
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Old Aug 31, 18, 8:25 pm
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: DAY/CMH
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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.

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.
I made one mistake following the blue path: I didn't notice I'd failed to cross Sepulveda until I'd walked half way to 96th. My sister had a heck of a time finding the cell lot despite studying the map and using Waze—I'd warned her it was going to be tricky and it definitely was.

I almost asked a traffic cop for directions the first time I passed the corner of World Way and Sepulveda. It wouldn't have helped though; even though you can almost see it from that corner, when I mentioned that to him on my second pass, he had no idea it existed.

All in all, as nice as it was to walk instead of waiting in the awful arrivals area, I'll probably go back to our previous practice next time and just wait for my ride.
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Old Sep 1, 18, 11:54 am
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: LAX/BUR/SJC/SFO/MMH: Thousand Oaks, Sunnyvale and Mammoth Lakes
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The good ol Cell Phone Waiting Lot. I've been picked up a few times at LAX and my ride could never find it. On a totally unrelated visit, I finally located it. It blends in with Economy Lot C really well, and IIRC, it's just a turnaround with a few parking spots.

In the map above, it's at 96th and Vicksburg where the green, blue and red lines meet.
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Old Sep 1, 18, 1:45 pm
Moderator: Travel Safety/Security, Travel Tools, California, Los Angeles
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
In the map above, it's at 96th and Vicksburg where the green, blue and red lines meet.
The LAX Cell Phone Waiting Lot is an enclave of the Economy Parking Lot C and is located at the northwest corner of 96th Street and Vicksburg Ave (just east of Sepulveda Blvd).
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Last edited by TWA884; Sep 1, 18 at 1:51 pm
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Old Sep 1, 18, 10:58 pm
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: SEA | LAX | IAD
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Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
chrisl137 nailed the problem... it's Uber and Lyft.
I do agree that rideshare is part of the problem, but I also think the signage and traffic flow could be improved significantly.

There are a ton of people coming off either the Sepulveda ramp or the returns ramp who often sit in the left lane until they realize "oh @#$%! I have to merge right or it sends me to T7!" and in a panic, stop their vehicles and merge right at the last minute. The same scenario, but in reverse for anyone coming off Century (and it doesn't help that one of the lanes is closed half the time due to random police presence). There are also people who repeatedly sit in the rightmost lanes who stop every few feet to double check if they're at the right terminal yet. I've had several Uber drivers sit in the left lane, merge all the right every terminal to read the signs, and then go all the way back to the left.

Having signs that say "United: Left Lane, American/Alaska: Middle Lane, Delta: Right Lane" and then putting up tall cones after the first or second stoplight might help, as the traffic usually isn't as bad once you pass TBIT. There's something about "Terminal 4: American" that just doesn't register with people.
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