Newbies - Geography - California

From its northernmost to southernmost point, Los Angeles measures 44 miles. It is home to over three million people in an area of 465 square miles. Sitting on the west coast of the US along the Pacific Ocean, the city is a link to international trade and is the nation's largest trade center.

LA has an immense freeway system. Drivers are aggressive and will cut in front of you, sometimes changing lanes two at a time. They will push you to drive over the speed limit. You need to be alert and pay close attention the whole way through the city.

With the amount of traffic, the best time to go in is at night or very early in the morning. Arrive before 6:00 a.m. or you'll get stuck in rush hour traffic. Listen to traffic reports on the radio and avoid accidents or roadwork whenever possible. Fortunately, if you make a mistake, most places where you exit you can get back on easily.

There are thousands of trucks going in and out of LA daily, but there is not a lot of parking area. If you come into town in the afternoon, you'll be lucky to find a parking spot. There are few truck stops in town and the lots fill up quickly. Instead of chancing it, plan to stay outside of the city even if you have to drive an hour or two to get to your stop.

Some warehouses have truck parking you can use, but verify it first. Several places with guards and gates will lease out parking spaces for trucks. Ask around and keep an eye out for such places. Use a truck stop guide to help plan your stops.

Consult a map regardless of whether or not you've been given directions into the city. The "Bible of maps" for southern California is the Thomas Guide: Los Angeles And Orange Counties.

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