LA’s Most Improved Morning Commute

Eight out of 18 morning commutes showed faster speeds


Anyone who commutes on the 5 North from the 605 to the 10 deserves sympathy. It’s one of the slowest rush hour commutes in Los Angeles. But even from the despair of gridlock, there can be reason to hope.


That stretch of the 5 was the most improved morning commute of 2018. Average speeds during the morning rush were 42.2 mph between February and June, a full 10 mph faster than the same period in 2017.


That’s still a crawl compared with the morning commute on the 10 East from the 5 to the 57: with average speeds of about 62 mph, it’s the fastest in LA. Read more on the fastest freeways here.


To find the most and least improved freeways, we analyzed our most recent speed data for 18 different freeway segments of Los Angeles. We compared average speeds during the morning commute (7-9 am) from February to June (the most recent period for which data is available) this year with the same period last year.


The morning rush hour became a bit more sluggish on the 5 North going from the 10 toward Santa Clarita, with speeds decreasing to 34.2 mph from 37.9 mph in 2017.



Out of 18 morning commutes on freeways in Los Angeles, 10 became slower in 2018. These morning commutes have seen less of a decrease than evening commutes in LA. You can see our list of most and least improved evening commutes here


Freeway speeds can slow as the economy improves and more people commute to work. Rising housing prices can also cause people to move further away from where they work, hence increasing the miles they drive. But it’s trickier to understand why a freeway speed may have increased. According to Caltrans, one reason could be that a road or construction project has concluded, opening up lanes that had been closed previously. Caltrans did not provide specific explanations about why some routes might be faster and others slower. 


Here’s the complete list of freeways, including the changes in speed from 2017 to 2018:



Questions about a specific freeway or commute?


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All the data in this article comes from sensors recording speeds on freeways across LA from February through June of 2018 and 2017.


For more information about our traffic data click here.