How Long Does It Take to Drive Down Santa Monica Boulevard?

It can take anywhere from seven to 24 minutes to drive the three miles from one end of West Hollywood to the other. That is according to a new report by WeHo by the Numbers. The report is based on 44 days of Google time estimates for trips between Santa Monica Boulevard at Doheny and Santa Monica at La Brea.

The accompanying chart shows the cross-city driving times over the 44-day period. The blue peaks are the morning commutes. The orange peaks are the evening commutes. The weekends can be identified by their shorter peaks.

In the slowest parts of some peak periods, it took an estimated 20 minutes or more to cross the city. It happened on 19 of the 32 weekdays in the sample: 11 morning commutes and 18 evening commutes. For comparison, it took only seven minutes to drive across the city in the early morning hours.

Average driving times depended on the direction, day of the week and time of day. On weekdays, the westbound Santa Monica Boulevard driving time reached its peak during the morning commute. The average was 18 minutes around 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. The time dropped after that, but it stayed between 12 and 14 minutes until after 8 p.m.

The eastbound weekday driving time built up throughout the day. It peaked at an average of 19 minutes around 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. It declined after that, but did not drop below 12 minutes until 9 p.m..
Crossing the city on a Saturday, the peak average driving time of 15 minutes was in the afternoon, between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.. The time built up throughout the morning, then held mostly steady for the afternoon and early evening. It dipped briefly at night, before rising again before midnight. Eastbound and westbound delays were similar throughout the day.

On the average Sunday, the peak cross-city driving time was a bit lower, 14 minutes. It stayed in the 12- to 14-minute range throughout the afternoon. Driving times were almost the same for eastbound and westbound trips.

Based on the 44-day sample, Wednesday was the worst traffic day of the week overall, but it depended on the time of day. For the morning commute, it was Tuesday, with Wednesday and Thursday as runners-up. At lunchtime, Wednesday and Friday were tied, followed by Tuesday. For the evening commute, it was Wednesday, closely followed by Tuesday and Thursday. During the nighttime entertainment hours, it was, of course, Saturday, Friday, and (farther behind) Thursday.

At times during the sample period, it was faster to avoid part or all Santa Monica Boulevard, even though the trips started and ended on the boulevard. It happened at least once on 33 out of 44 days, mostly during weekday commutes. It happened occasionally at weekday lunchtimes and on Friday/Saturday nights.

To find out more, see the full report: How much time does traffic congestion add to a drive across West Hollywood?


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5 years ago

Very interesting. Last year I had to drive to the Century City Mall. It was on a Friday afternoon – around 3pm. I must have been in the car for 45 minutes. Since living and working in WeHo, my time is basically my own. I might even go out at 5pm, something I would never have done a decade ago.

Traditionally, Tuesday worse than Monday. Wednesday worse than Tuesday; Thursday worse than Wednesday, etc.

5 years ago

Also, living east of where you work makes a big difference. I work in Hollywood, 4 blocks past Gower, a little over 4 miles east of where I live, near Sunset & Doheny. In the morning it’s less than 20 minutes door to door. In the evening it’s around 25 minutes. Fountain used to be fast, back in the day, but with all of the new construction and numerous 4-way stop signs, it’s getting slower and slower. And, with the new traffic lights at La Cienega and Holloway, it seems to take forever for the light to change.

5 years ago

This is why we take Fountain.

5 years ago

This explains exactly why people take Fountain.
And travel time on Fountain is best on Monday mornings when NO PARKING is allowed because of street cleaning. We need to permanently stop blocking that lane especially between Laurel & Fairfax.

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