If you are driving in Los Angeles, paying attention to traffic conditions is very important for saving time and making sure you can get where you need to be on time. There are many different web sites you can use to get directions and see the current Los Angeles traffic conditions. Each site has advantages and disadvantages, so I use different sites, depending on the information I need.
For example, if I'm headed to Downtown Los Angeles, and in addition to directions, I want to know where the cheapest parking is near my destination, I'll use Bing Maps, which incorporates a cool parking app from BestParking.com. But if I'm weighing the option of whether to drive Downtown or take public transportation, I'll check Google Maps, because it has better incorporated public transportation information for Greater Los Angeles.
If I want to know which route is better with the current traffic, I'll check Bing Maps or Traffic.com, but if I want to know what traffic will probably look like tomorrow morning between 8 and 9 am, I'll use Google Maps, which lets you switch between live traffic and historic/projected traffic for a specific time of day.
On the following pages, I lay out where each of the top websites excels (or lacks) when it comes to Los Angeles traffic and directions. While, at the present time, you'll notice Google Maps excels in more general areas, I still give Bing Maps priority, based on the ability to choose a route based on current traffic conditions, which more often than not outweighs all other factors.
None of them are perfect, and at times, they calculate routes that make no sense at all, so you really need to look at the map and the traffic and use your brain to determine if that route they mapped along a clearly jammed freeway or 5 miles in the wrong direction is really the way you want to go. Sometimes you just need to wait a few minutes and refresh the map to get a more logical route.
Some of the maps are increasingly useful for mapping public transportation, bike routes and attractions.
This information is accurate at the time of publication, but these sites are always adding new functionality, so it may have changed by the time you read this.
Take a look at the pros and cons for each of these traffic map pages:
Or get Traffic Reports by Radio or Telephone.