Traffic patterns repeat themselves. I've tried getting driving directions with Google Maps, but it seems like they only provide the estimate with either no traffic being on the way, or with only the current traffic situation being accounted for.

What if I need to arrive at time X to place Y from place Z? What time do I depart, taking the prior traffic patterns in consideration (which I'm unfamiliar with, since it's my first time being in the area)?

In other words, where do I get the information about the average traffic congestion between two given points at a given time window on a given day of the week? (I'm currently in need of such information for travelling from Riverside to LA, but it would also be useful for directions between San Jose and San Francisco etc.)

  • 3
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about standard traffic patterns.
    – Karlson
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 18:15
  • Taking the standard work day being 9-5 the rush hour traffic starts about 2 hours before start of work day and lasts for about 3 hours. And in reverse 1 hour before to 2 hours after the end of the work day.
    – Karlson
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 18:16
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    @cnst I guess you have not tried driving during sunrise or the sunset into the sun. It creates traffic since people naturally slow down. Same in the rain because of the potential for aquaplaning including Los Angeles. Same issue occurs on upgrades because people don't press harder on the gas to give their car more power to climb and so on.
    – Karlson
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 19:00
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    Yep, whenever it rains here in sunny soCal, it's like most drivers have forgotten that it ever rained before! Check out SigAlert and I recently read a column that was very flattering about Waze.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 19:03
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    @Karlson I don't get it. How are standard traffic patterns not related to traveling (by car, bus or taxi)? Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 2:51

1 Answer 1


In addition to the usual maps.google, an alternative is http://livetraffic.tomtom.com.

On the left, you can enter the time you are leaving and it figures out when you'll arrive, or enter the time you want to arrive and it figures out when you should leave.

It is based on many different data points, so it is pretty accurate.

It's a good alternative to maps.google, for the specific case of estimating times (including traffic variations during the day/week).


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