June 15, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Christmas Week Lightens Westside Traffic Load

Westside traffic updates.
Westside traffic updates.

Santa brought some Christmas eve cheer to Southern California drivers today as traffic on area freeways was so light it looked like a typical weekend.

But while the lack of congestion as the holiday period got under way was good news, the California Highway Patrol had a stern warning for naughty unsafe drivers, or drivers who drink alcohol and then get behind the wheel.

A Maximum Enforcement Period was scheduled to begin today at 6 p.m. and it will conclude at midnight Sunday, Sgt. Melissa Hammond of the California Highway Patrol said.

“You can expect the maximum number of officers deployed in the field looking for intoxicated drivers and primary collision factors such as speeding, following too closely and unsafe lane changes,” Hammond said. “During the holiday, you want to appoint a designated driver.

“Being a little tipsy is still considered intoxicated,” she said “And we’re expecting rain over the weekend. Drive safely to avoid hydroplaning.”

But for safe drivers complying with the law who still had to work, freeway driving was something of a delight.

One office worker in West Los Angeles reported having only a 20-minute commute from the San Fernando Valley, instead of the usual one hour.

The CHP said a lot of people had similar experiences.

“There is some slowdown in certain areas, but for the most part, we don’t have any major delays,” CHP Officer Peter Bishop said. “I think it’s like a weekend, in general.

Any signs of potential congestion, Bishop said, were likely to occur on the Golden State (5) Freeway, south of the Ventura (101) Freeway, where motorists are heading up north to Castaic, Santa Barbara or Northern California.

“If you take the 5, south of the 101, you’re going to have some delays,” Bishop said. “It’s typical L.A. traffic.”

What has been a surprise are motorists heading in other directions — notably Las Vegas and San Diego — are not experiencing significant traffic problems, particularly on the troublesome San Diego (405) Freeway.     “I’m looking at the 405 right now’and (motorists) can expect some delay, but I don’t expect any major delays,” . It’s been a fair day so far — but that could change. It’s almost like a Sunday. It’s fairly light.”

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