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Arroyo Seco Foundation

News of the Arroyo


Dare to drive California's first freeway from L.A. to Pasadena


Southern California




January 29, 2017 - As part of a list of essential adventures and experiences in the Golden State, Christopher Reynolds offers: Dare to drive the Arroyo Seco Parkway! Most of us crossed that off our bucket list decades ago. -


Christopher Reynolds


Los Angeles Times


The Arroyo Seco Parkway in 1940. (Los Angeles Times file photo)

Why : To see where freeway in the western U.S. was born, and how far it's come.

What : Covering a little more than eight miles between downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena, the Arroyo Seco Parkway -- a.k.a. the Pasadena Freeway, a.k.a. Interstate 110 -- was the first freeway in the western U.S. It was completed in 1940, then extended here and there to join up with other, newer freeways.

If you have never driven it, brace yourself for short on-ramps, stop signs on off-ramps; narrow lanes; ever-so-slightly-banked turns; and scant shoulders. Ten minutes on this freeway is guaranteed to deepen your appreciation for every one that's been built since.

Where: Between Glenarm Street in Pasadena and U.S. 101 in downtown Los Angeles.

How much: The cost of gas. And body work, if the lanes prove too narrow for you.

Info : Arroyo Seco Foundation




Arroyo Seco Foundation, 570 W. Avenue 26 #450, Los Angeles, CA 90065-1011
PO Box 91622, Pasadena, CA 91109-1622 (323) 405-7326