How about Baldwin Park? I am moving from DC to CA and will be living in Baldwin Park, but I will have to commute since I am going to subletting a relatives apartment ($500/month for a 2 bedroom apartment). Mapquest says its only 35 miles, but my house is next to the S605. Can anyone offer advice on what I should take or just any advice? Thanks again.
Since I seem to be the queen of The OC here -- I can try and help you ...
Good News: If you are commuting to Fullerton - you can pretty much hop the 605 to the 60 -- and not spend too much time on either of them. Neither are classified by ME as being HATE highways -- (during drive time they can all be a little unbearable ... but you know ... skip drive time if you can - that's 6am-9am and 5-7pm), so you're all good.
Bad News: If you are commuting to Whittier in Costa Mesa ... you take a nastier section of the 605 (a corridor used by alot of commuters) to the the most HATED section of the 405 (the "orange crush" area) -- basically the first stretch of Orange County on the 405. It's crowded most of the time (especially during drive time), chock full o' assholes who think reading the newspaper and applying mascara go hand in hand with cell phone usage and driving and goes through the "Euclid/Fountain Valley" exit which to me is the "bermuda triangle" of traffic (always seems to be an accident and random slowing for no reason).
If you are going to UCLA, USC, Pepperdine, Southwestern, Loyola -- well, they're scattered all about LA, so it's tough to tell, but the 10 or 101 is probably in your future ...
If you want to know what traffic looks like on a normal day -- pick the time you think you will commuting (and don't forget the time difference, my fellow soon to be former east coaster) and log on to www.sigalert.com
- you can click on "MAPS" or "SPEEDS", find the freeway you want (in your case, the 605 South and the 405 South for Whittier; 605, 60 for Western) and you can see what the speeds are at that exact time.
Also, become really familiar with Mike Nolan, KFI in the SKY, the traffic reporter on 640 am, a great traffic dude and all around cool guy (my friend works at KFI so I have to give them a shout out) -- and when he tells you the 405 is jammed for no apparent reason -- then cheer, cause he's like the weatherman when it comes to the 405, when he says it's gonna be raining, get out your bikini!