Peak Traffic on the 405 Santa Monica Fwy in LA (Dwell Magazine 6-04-09)
"Well crap! I was born and raised in LA. What don't I know about traffic?"
I spent many happy and unhappy hours on the freeways of Los Angeles, zooming along in the Sixties when the city was relatively uncrowded and crawling along in the Seventies as I drove from my first married domicile in Woodland Hills to a job on Wilshire Blvd. It was only 24 miles but it was a guaranteed hour in the morning and 1 1/2 hours home, if I was lucky. We relied on the big AM radio stations to give us the freeway updates so we could try and go the fastest route, be it surface streets, through the hills, or even along Pacific Coast Hwy known as PCH to the locals.
During my senior year in high school and my first two years in college, I worked for my father during summer break. Our family home was also in Woodland Hills. His office was on Hollywood & Vine. He taught me the ins and outs of driving the freeways, often keeping to the slow lane because, as he explained, so many cars got off and on you could actually move more quickly. If there was an accident alert on the radio, he'd take Ventura Blvd. into North Hollywood and pick up the freeway. Sometimes we'd drive over Laurel or Coldwater Canyons into the West Hollywood side, then east to his office.
Dad's office building is still there. It's a landmark from an earlier time. My memories are sweet. I grew up in a magical time, in a city where everything really seemed golden. I learned to drive in the toughest traffic city in America. I am not always a good driver but I can negotiate in traffic and I do drive defensively. That is the secret. Always drive as if the other guy is going to make a mistake... not in your favor.
As the DJs might have said, once upon a time, "Time for a musical interlude from one of our favorite performers..."
Nobody does it better than JT.
This just came to me and, since no one else has it up, I'm posting. A true classic!