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Getting Home: Stick to the Freeways? Or the "back" roads?

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Bolster, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Question: Imagine you took the 110 freeway in Los Angeles (the north/south one surrounded by yellow and red) to get to work (north) and back (south). Now imagine an "event" occurs (say, Barack Obama is not re-elected, and Los Angeles is burning). If you were caught on the 110, say complete gridlock, or car won't run, and walking was your only option for movement, would you (a) walk the freeway itself? (b) walk side streets? (c) head west as quickly as possible and then drop south? (d) stay put in your vehicle on the freeway? (e) other option?

    Now I know that there will be lots of wise-ass remarks about "leave LA" and other non-answers (you don't just close down a business and a career for maybes and ifs, in my opinion). But once we get all the LA-bashing and city-bashing out of the way (not that I disagree with any of it, it just isn't helpful), what would you do in this situation?

    Primarily I'm interested to know if you think that a freeway, whether running or not, is safer than the side streets through the urban 'hoods. Seems like it would be, to me. I would imagine more armed gangs roaming the adjacent 'hoods than the freeway itself. Anything yellow or red, you really don't want to be there, due to sky high crime rates. But, I wanted to see what the collective wisdom of the forum would be.

    (And for those concerned about my opsec, the green dots don't precisely locate my work or home, but close enough for discussion).


    Footnote: My wife (then girlfriend), hot chick in red sports car, drove THROUGH the smoke and fire on either side of the central freeways during the 92 LA riots, back and forth to work. She said the central freeways were wide open because all the cautious (frightened? wise?) people were jammed up on 'safer' freeways further away. So she just barreled through the smoke and fire at 70 mph and was happy the traffic was light. She has more balls than I have, I think.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  2. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Freeway. Also less chance of getting lost.

  3. glock_19guy1983


    Sep 8, 2002
    Move out of california....problem solved
  4. maxxmojo


    Oct 3, 2005
    I'd probably stick to the freeway. I'd imagine during a riot or whatever is going on all the looting and crime will be taking place in the urban parts of the map, plus I'd think there'd be a bigger chance of getting ambushed on the back roads or in the hoods. The only real downside I can think of off the top of my head for the freeway would be during inclement weather conditions, unless you just opted to stay in your vehicle until it cleared up.
  5. If it was walking and not a car and if it was in LA Id probably stick to the freeways.
  6. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    OK, freeway. Thanks for giving this a think.
  7. Raiden

    Raiden C&R Fun!

    My big reservation of the freeway is that you've fairly limited escape routes if something should happen in front or behind of you. The exits are spaced out a mile or two apart, and it's a good 20 ~ 30 foot drop from the edge of the freeway to the ground below with only a few stretches having a traversable embankment. That said, I'd probably also stick to walking the freeway, but I'd be making efforts to survey as far ahead at each entrance/exit ramp. Maybe a 30' length of rope with a heavy-duty carabiner might be helpful, in letting you make a hasty descent from the freeway if trapped a ways from an exit. Just loop around the guardrail, toss it over, and hope you still have fingerprints after skittling down.
  8. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Good caution. When our freeways are not at ground level they are sometimes above, and sometimes sunk down into the ground, which would actually be worse, easy to be trapped and harder to clamber up and out. Just the same, I'll be watching for this on the next drive.
  9. Syclone538


    Jan 8, 2006
    Damn man, that's a bad situation, with no good answer.

    Either stay on the freeway, go west then south, or maybe the side streets around the bad area.

    Definitely not walk the side streets through the bad area.

    I have never been to LA, but that seems pretty simple to me. Right now, would you rather drive the freeway through there, or drive the side streets through there?
  10. 20South


    Nov 18, 2002
    East of CBUS
    add something to your ghb to help you get over the side of the freeway in case of ambush?
  11. racerford


    Apr 22, 2003
    DFW area
    Good god man... if you are in the red or yellow areas, do not walk on the freeway (or side streets foir that matter) RUN!!!

    I don't know the area well enough, or the scale of the map to know the distances, but get to where you can run that distance with a full pack. Oh, and carry bear spray or what ever the law allows.
  12. SouthpawShooter

    SouthpawShooter Rocker Glocker

    Mar 9, 2011
    I grew up in the L.A. area, but not that part. I'm not super familiar with that area, because I just rarely had a reason to go that way.

    That being said, if I were you, at this point in time when things are pretty much fine, I'd drive a few alternate routes and take note of what areas you'd want to avoid. Just make a note of what streets look good, and try to come up with a few different routes that look safe, have places on the way you can possibly resupply, or maybe even water sources.

    For all you hicks out there who only know about L.A by watching TV, you don't know Jack. It's actually much better than it's made to look. Yes, there are areas that suck, but there are some very good parts.

    Also, the "riots" were so overblown by the media, it's a joke. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as they made it sound. I drove right through it, a few times.

    If you have any street smarts at all, and didn't act like a retard, and didn't go down to Florence & Normandie with a white sheet on, you were fine. That idiot Denny only got beat because he was retarded. So, he's in a giant truck, and he leaves his door unlocked, and doesn't attempt to drive away? WTF?

    At any rate, just figure out the "good" streets to stay on, and you'll be fine.
  13. Raiden

    Raiden C&R Fun!

    Grand Ave. and another street parallel 110 at ground level, through most of that stretch, and they're not particularly troublesome. If there were unrest, I think folks will stick to their side of 110, and either filter away or head towards downtown. There's usually just a block or two of homes to the east and west. You don't start seeing a ton of stores until either Main or Hoover (closer as you get near downtown), and I think that's where the looting might start during an event. So that might give you some breathing room, if you can't stay on the freeway. If stuff gets real bad, the freeway also works as a firewall (providing both sides aren't up in flames). Bear in mind, I haven't haunted LA in years, so I dunno what - if any - areas have gotten better/worse.
  14. JBL13


    Oct 24, 2010
    Northern Utah
    Maybe you could keep a bicycle at your business and if, before you leave to go home during some sort of event, it looks like you might not be able to make it home in a car, attach the bike to (or in) the car just in case you hit some sort of roadblock or just ride the bike -- on the side of the freeway.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  15. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    I can't imagine either one being anywhere near "safe"; no idea which would be "less unsafe"... Hard to visuallize an answer for me - I literally have to drive around 40 miles to get to a divided interstate. Our "highways" are usually two-lane (one each direction), with an occasional center turning or passing lane.

    On the interstate has the dangers mentioned above, largely summed up in "bottleneck" or "funnel". Off the interstate in that environment seems like it might approach a walk thru a warzone, with a whole lot of dangerous individuals in all directions.
  16. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

    Sep 16, 2008
    Wow, Bolster you got a legit threat there. Good call to plan ahead

    I'll be honest with you, knowing LA history of riots, my advice would be to stay on the highway, and far away from the neighborhoods that had problems in the past.

    I'm thinking that rioters will be a lot less likely to be wandering the highway, and will stick to the streets. You would be more likely to be another "Reginald Denny" if you cut thru the neighborhoods.
  17. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    Multiple routes.'08.
  18. walt cowan

    walt cowan

    Feb 18, 2005
    if one waits for that shtf moment before they hit the road... might as will settle down on that parking lot and wait to die. keeping your eye on local,national and world news should give you months, weeks, days or even hours of warning. you need to be on that road (any road) before the sheep start running scard.:supergrin:take the time now to learn all the ways both in and out. don't over look anything...any road, alley, parking lot, driveway, railroad or path. keep in mind if that shtf moment has hit, traffic laws won't mean squat, like one way, wrong way, hov only, do not enter, no pov's and such. be prepared to drive on, around and through anything. also, you'll need the following tools to help you and others behind you make your way to saftey; large bolt cutters and a railway pry bar (jerrsey walls and those cable barriers in the median) wrenches (sized for the nuts and bolts on guard rails) and a small set of bolt cutters for fences. a good tow strap or chain to pull things out/down of you way. think ahead.:supergrin: just remember all those sheep running out of new orleans, stuck on the interstate, out of gas, food, water all the while the other side of the inter state was free and clear. if someone had just moved, unbolted or cut a barrier......:whistling:
  19. walt cowan

    walt cowan

    Feb 18, 2005
    p.s., get a c.b. radio mounted too. nothing works better at letting you know whats going down on the freeway. at least in a 2 to 4 mile area around you.:wavey:
  20. LSUAdman

    LSUAdman Pew Pew

    Aug 3, 2010
    I'm really interested in the replies in this thread.

    Bolster, I dont live in LA, but in another urban sprawl - Houston. I've wondered the same thing. I live enough along the periphery that I could stick to the woods and either go north or around Houston if I felt the roads were unsafe.

    With emergencies and evacuation orders in place, urban sprawls suck. I dont know how many times you have had to evac or ration in LA, but in Houston it's rough. When hurricanes come in, gas, water, batteries and some other things are dried up usually 2-3 days out. If people evac, then the roads are totally blocked for hours.

    I dont evac, but my brother and his family did a few years back. After 13 hours they only got 6 miles away from the house. So, keep that in mind. If it's so bad that everyone able to drive can drive out, then they will try...and that could be as bad as walking through the less than savory areas or trying to hunker down until things get quiet (if that is an option).