Lara, we only skimmed the surface of the "car culture" here. Not only do our freeways have names and numbers, many of the interchanges have names as well:
"The Orange Crush" (near my school in Orange County)
"The Four Level" (downtown Los Angeles)
"The El Toro Y"
"The East LA Interchange"
Even some stretches of freeway have their own name:
"The South Bay Curve"
"The Downtown Slot"
Sometimes the popular names of freeways are not the official names of the freeways. For example, the 105 is officially the Glenn Anderson Freeway but generally known as the Century Freeway but usually just referred to as "The One-Oh-Five".
Navigating the freeways can be a really big deal, and you often have to know your geography to decide which direction to go. For example, not too far from where I live is a freeway interchange from the 405 to the 710. The primary choices are "Pasadena" and "Long Beach". You would think that taking the "Long Beach" exit should be your choice for visiting your friend in Long Beach. Not necessarily. The "Long Beach" exit takes you to downtown Long Beach. The "Pasadena" exit takes you through the northern part of Long Beach, which is primarily residential and most likely where your friend lives.
We also have Sig Alerts. A Sig Alert is defined by the CHP (California Highway Patrol) as "any unplanned event that causes the closing of one lane of traffic for 30 minutes or more". Our local all-news station gives traffic reports every five minutes 24 hours a day with special attention paid to Sig Alerts.
Not paying attention to those traffic reports can get you caught in a Sig Alert. Not a nice place to be. (I was once in an accident that caused a Sig Alert during rush-hour traffic. That was interesting.)
Congested traffic can be described as "slow and go", "stop and go" or "stop and stop", and there are people who absolutely hate "the 91 parking lot - I mean, freeway".
We measure distances not in miles but in driving time.
-How far do you live from work?
-Oh, I usually get there in about half an hour.
David Brodsly even wrote a book, L.A. Freeway: An Appreciative Essay
, about the whole thing. Here's a link to a review from the Los Angeles Times.http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonste...
Of course, Southern California is also the place where Uniroyal built a tire factory to look like an Assyrian temple and the people who delivered parts and tools to the workers used roller skates; Coca Cola built its offices to look like a ship; a hot dog stand was built to look like a hot dog in a bun; the Getty Museum built a Roman villa; the facade of UCLA's Royce Hall is designed to look like Milan's Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio.
Are you convinced yet that we are all at least a little bit crazy? Absolutely out of our minds?
Like hm -- us, I usually say "rout" but "Root 66" for the word "route". Sometimes I will say "root" for other highways or uses of the word..