Freeway Personalities

Have you ever noticed that certain freeways have certain individual characteristics, almost personalities? Living in the LA area, I’ve come to learn the various temperments and characters to deal with:

10 Freeway (East-West)
Completely bipolar. Can be smooth sailing, then psychotic sudden stops, then innumerable semis, then clear, then sudden stop…and countless demonically possessed drivers who cut you off, drive on the shoulder, honk, cuss, and have the patience of a chihuahua on speed. Despite the push and rudeness, you’ll never hit 65mph–55-60 is good speed. I hate this freeway. This is where I had my accident, of course.

405 Freeway (North-South)
You will not reach the speed limit, at least not through LA. It doesn’t matter how many cars there are, you will be going 45mph. You won’t stop and go, there won’t be an accident, there won’t be a reason…everyone will just go 45 for an hour or so. Very strange.

101 Freeway (North-South section)
Complete psychopath through LA, complete snobbery through Ventura (where Monica Lewinsky had her accident). Hmm. Might be representative of the area.

60 Freeway (East-West)
Freakin’ semi convoy. It’s where the big dogs run, and if you ain’t a big dog, you’re in trouble.

Yes, this is truly random and mundane pointless stuff I felt like sharing. Mainly because I HATE THE FUCKING 10!

Anyone else?

“My cat’s breath smells like cat food.” --Ralph Wiggum, hero and icon

Yep, Different highways do seem to have different rules of the road.
One thing I really hate is Friday night when all the non-commuters are heading north on I93 to NH. They don’t know the rules and they cause major slowdowns.
The Boston area in general has a set of un-written rules that are a little different from the rest of the country. This causes visitors a lot lot of problems.

Snobbery through Ventura. I guess you are throwing Santa Barbara in as well. So, we are snobs just because we can see the ocean from our cars? We are snobs because the road is two lanes and except for 40 minutes a day not backed up?
If thats snobbery, get me my badge, I wanna be a snob.

Haha, I do agree with your 405 synopsis, I always call it the dreaded 405 and drive on it only if I am going to the airport.
I don’t have much experience with the 10, but that sounds like I am better off that way.

But, when I go down to LA, I like driving on the 101. Even though, its psychotic, and I usually drive to fast for the density, I get a rush. In fact, the 101 is my favorite California freeway. Probably, because I take it so often. It was in Vertigo, so its famous.


You think that’s bad, you should check out the…

99 Freeway(North-South) - Northern-Central California

The speed limit is 70, but if you go at that speed, you’ll be pulled over for going too slow! Everyone on that freeway goes at least 85, even the highway patrol! (small joke: someone said that people mistake the 99 as the speed limit, not the freeway #) And sometimes, 2 semis will decide to race each other for no reason on the 2-lane freeway, and if you don’t watch out, one of them will shove you off the lane into the shoulder. This almost happened to me 5 times this month.

LauraRae, I agree, the 10 is the worst in LA, but the 105 right next to the airport isn’t a nice ride to go on as well.

Is this just a CA thing? Calling a highway “the 10” or “the whatever”? Everywhere I’ve ever lived you call it “10” or “I-10” but never “THE 10”… that just sounds so bizarre to me. I am sure it is common in your area though, since several of you are using it.

Here in the DC area we call 495 “the beltway” but if we call it by number it is just “495”

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Priccar–no, no, snobbery through Ventura (but really, it’s up through Camarillo), not up to Santa Barbara. I love driving through SB! It’s one of my all-time favorite Sunday drives…positively gorgeous. And it helps that it’s a fun area to stop and eat, shop, hang out in.

I have to say my “snobbery” comment is a bit prejudiced–I went to high school in Thousand Oaks and still frequently visit that area. It isn’t my favorite spot–too many plastic people and soccer moms. You can always tell when you’re in Westlake and that area when Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, and a virtual menagerie of new SUVs begin filling the surrounding lanes. Now, I have no problem with people owning these cars (heck, my parents have a Lexus and an Explorer), but some of them have that…hmm…well, snobby attitude when it comes to driving style. Knowwhutimean? Still, it is a beautiful area. I’m just not comfortable there.

“My cat’s breath smells like cat food.” --Ralph Wiggum, hero and icon


Chicago would drive you NUTS (no pun intended.) The major freeways are commonly referred to by their names, not their numbes, e.g The Eisenhower Expswy, the Stevenson, etc.

The first time I drove in Chicago and tried to get traffic info on the radio I couldn’t believe it. “The Ike is backed up to…The Stevenson is a mess…” Try coping with traffic, spotting exits and dodging the occassional road rage cretin while peering at the itty-bitty miscroscopic type on the map. The NUMBERS are clearly marked, but you need a magnifying glass to see the NAME of an expressway.

Ah, and folks think us hardy midwesterners don’t have a sense of whimsy!


Well, yes, it is a CA thing. Some freeways in CA don’t even have a name, and since there are probably around 50 freeways in CA (and half in Los Angeles), it’s more easier to just name them by the number.

Long Island, NY has exactly one Interstate. It is numbered 495 and has various names, including Grand Central Parkway, The Long Island Expressway, and The World’s Longest Parking Lot.

Laugh hard; it’s a long way to the bank.