Carmageddon shortcuts in San Fernando Valley


You won't be able to travel south on the 405 beginning at the 101 on Carmageddon weekend. And trying to go south on the 405 at all through the San Fernando Valley could be a challenge if the freeway backs up significantly. Fortunately, there are lots of surface streets to choose from.

See a live cam shot of the Mulholland Bridge construction site.

Sepulveda Boulevard parallels the 405, and it's the route most people will be taking if the freeway is clogged. The key words there are "most people." Sepulveda could get pretty clogged itself. But there are alternates to the east and west to get around a jammed-up Sepulveda.

Balboa Boulevard tends to move well and is fairly wide in many sections. Like Sepulveda, it runs all the way through the Valley.

There are other good choices like Hayvenhurst, Woodley and Haskell avenues, but they all get interrupted by the railroad, Van Nuys Airport or the Sepulveda Dam. In some cases they can work.

To the east, it's a similar situation with Kester and Hazeltine avenues. You'll have to pick them up south of Saticoy Street or Sherman Way, respectively. But they do move well.

And what if the 101 gets jammed? Many people assume that if the Ventura Freeway is clogged up, the best alternative is Ventura Boulevard. Well, on any given weekend, the street can get pretty busy, as there are hundreds of shops and restaurants along it. So smart drivers will be taking a different street.

Burbank Boulevard is a short-cutter's dream, especially where it runs through the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area. You can actually take Burbank all the way from Tarzana into the city of Burbank.

If that doesn't work, another good one is Vanowen Street a few miles to the north. It runs the whole width of the Valley and doesn't connect to either north-south freeway, so it tends to be less busy.

The San Fernando Valley could be affected by the 405 shutdown. Fortunately, it offers lots of easy alternates.

Check out an interactive map of Dave Kunz 405 closure shortcuts.

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