Which West Hollywood streets are slowest and fastest?
In a recent report, we compared traffic speeds on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood to nearby areas. In this report, we compare speeds on 11 major streets within the city.
Our speed estimates cover a two-month sample period. They are based on hourly estimates of the time it would take to drive from one end of the street in West Hollywood to the other. The estimates assume no speeding. They include time spent at traffic signals. They are end-to-end numbers, averaging faster and slower parts of each street.
Robertson was the slowest of the major streets during our sample period. The average estimated speed was below 10 miles per hour — a calculation that included early morning hours with no traffic. Even during those hours, average end-to-end speeds didn’t rise above 15 miles per hour. Of course, individual drivers might go faster.
To compare streets for slowness, we calculated the percentage of the time that each street’s estimated speed was below 10 miles per hour in one or both directions. Robertson came in first at 72%. La Brea was second at 41%. Melrose, Sunset, and Crescent Heights came next around 20%.
The chart below shows which hour of the week was slowest for each street in each direction. For all but one of the streets, the slowest hour was during the weekday morning or evening rush. Robertson was the exception: it was slowest on Saturday night at 11:00 PM or midnight.
Robertson comes second to Beverly Boulevard on this list. The slowest hour of the week on Beverly was a bit slower than Robertson’s slowest hour: five miles per hour versus six. Beverly also had the slowest recorded speed estimate during the sample period. It was three miles per hour. The numbers suggest Beverly isn’t slow as often as Robertson, but it can be quite slow when it is.
Robertson was the slowest street, but all of the other streets we studied had bigger slowdowns from their top speeds. Sunset and Santa Monica led the way. Robertson’s top speed was much lower, so its slowdown wasn’t as large in absolute terms.
Fountain Avenue was the fastest street during the sample period. It had the highest average speed and the highest speed during its fastest hour of the week.
The chart below shows those fastest-hour estimates for major West Hollywood streets. The fastest streets appear to be the longer ones: Fountain, Santa Monica, and Sunset. The estimates include time spent at traffic signals. They also assume no speeding over the posted speed limit. We know that isn’t a realistic assumption on streets like Fountain. Nevertheless, the estimates offer a sense of the rank order among streets.
Speeds on weekdays
We took snapshots of the speed estimates at three high-traffic times during the work week. At 9:00 AM, end-to-end speeds for westbound, southbound, and northbound routes were generally 10 to 14 miles per hour. Eastbound routes were faster at 15 to 19 miles per hour. Fountain was faster than alternative routes in both directions.
Westbound Melrose and southbound Robertson were slower than alternative routes. They were in the range of 5 to 9 miles per hour. We assume that’s because of drivers who enter the city on Melrose, turn down Robertson, and continue their commutes to places outside West Hollywood.
By 1:00 PM on the average weekday, the traffic flows had grown and equalized. Most of the speed estimates were in the range of 10 to 14 miles per hour. The faster exception was Fountain. The slower exceptions were now La Brea in both directions and Robertson in both directions.
At 6:00 PM, estimated speeds on eastbound and northbound routes were generally below 10 miles per hour. The highest speeds of the hour were on westbound Fountain and westbound Sunset.
Speeds on the weekend
We took two snapshots of estimated speeds on the weekend. At 1:00 PM on Saturday or Sunday, there was a wide range of speeds on the city’s major streets. Speeds were generally higher on the westside as well as Santa Monica Boulevard. We can’t say if the western part of Santa Monica was the reason for its overall slowness, because we only calculated the end-to-end speed.
La Brea stood out on the eastside. The estimated speed in both directions was less than 10 miles per hour.
By 11:00 PM on the weekend, speeds in the city were generally higher. The exception was, of course, around the nightlife area on the westside. Estimated speeds on Robertson were still below 10 miles per hour. In fact, Robertson’s slowest times of the week were on Saturday night.
Speeds were in the range of 10 to 15 miles on San Vicente, Melrose, and La Cienega in all directions. We’d guess that Santa Monica west of La Cienega experienced similar slowness, at least westbound.