It’s the Weekend, So Why Am I Stuck in Traffic?

Freeway gridlock doesn't take a day off


Does the weekend bring any respite to LA traffic?

We took daily speed data from 18 segments of Los Angeles freeways in 2017 to look at weekday versus weekend trends.

What we found? Yes, you’re not imagining it: Rush hour doesn’t take a break on the weekends. There are some stretches where the peak 4 pm – 7 pm gridlock barely budges on the weekend. On one freeway, traffic during the weekday evening rush hour actually moves faster than on the weekend.

Of course, there are some freeways where it’s smooth sailing on the weekend. But don’t just assume that Saturday means you’ll never be bumper-to-bumper.


Least Improved Freeway Speed on the Weekends:

Northbound on the 5, between the 10 and the 405 is 4.14% slower on the weekend between 4pm – 7pm.

Weekday average speed 4 pm-7 pm:  54.51 mph → Weekend average speed: 52.25 mph.



Most Improved Freeway Speed on the Weekends:

Going the opposite direction, it’s al alternate universe. Southbound on the 5, between the 10 and the 405 is 131.82% faster during the 4 pm – 7 pm period.

Weekday average speed: 19.43 mph → Weekend average speed: 45.04 mph


We ranked all 18 freeway segments, from those with the smallest differential between weekday and weekend, to the largest.

Freeway Segment Direction Percent Change in Speed*
I-5 5 w 10 and 405 N North -4.15%
I-5 5 w 57 and 71 W West 1.33%
I-405 405 w 10 and 110 N North 6.69%
I-110 Pasadena w 101 S South 6.75%
I-5 Santa Clarita 1 10 S South 7.24%
I-10 SM with 5 W West 8.15%
I-405 405 w 10 and 118 S South 18.20%
I-110 Pasadena w 101 N North 20.04%
I-110 101 w 105 N North 23.58%
SR-101 27 w 5 S South 25.03%
I-5 Santa Clarita w 10 N North 39.44%
I-10 SM with 5 E East 54.53%
SR-101 27 w 5 N North 62.35%
I-110 101 w 105 S South 69.19%
I-405 405 w 10 and 110 S South 76.29%
I-5 5 w 57 and 71 E East 83.67%
I-405 405 w 10 and 118 N North 120.80%
I-5 5 w 10 and 405 S South 131.82%


*Percent change in average speed from weekdays to weekends 4 pm-7 pm.


How we did it: We analyzed average speeds on the freeways throughout 2017 by hour of the day and day of the week. We then calculated the average speeds during the peak of the evening rush hour (4 pm-7 pm) and compared weekdays against weekends.

Learn more about how Crosstown compiles its traffic data here.

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