L.A.’s counting down to “Carmageddon” …

Question: What happens when you shut down the busiest north-south freeway connection in Los Angeles over a summer weekend?
Answer: Carmaggedon


I-405 looking north to the Mulholland Street bridge. (Photo credit: Barbara Davidson L.A. Times.)

On the weekend of July 16-17, ten miles of  the I-405 freeway [on the west side –  connecting the Valley with the airport] will be shut down for 53 consecutive hours as part of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvement

The Mulholland Dr Bridge will be the third bridge demolished and reconstructed to accommodate the widening of the I-405 freeway to add a northbound high-occupancy vehicle lane through the Sepulveda Pass.

There’s no doubt that the closure is going to cause the worst traffic jam *ever* –  a Carmageddon. Any of the over 500,000 motorists who usually drive the freeway will find themselves creeping on local streets in severe cases of gridlock, because the alternative routes between the Valley and the Westside are narrow, winding canyon roads.

In an attempt to prevent the predicted chaotic traffic, transportation officials have launched a media campaign warning drivers of the closure and asking us to  “Please stay at Home!”

For the past month I’ve seen digital billboards along the freeways, and major roads, announcing the freeway closure, and the L.A. Police Department (LAPD) have asked actors, musicians and athletes who are popular on Twitter, to tweet their followers not to come anywhere near the freeway that weekend.

An article in the  L.A. Times  “Tips to survive Carmageddon”  reminds us that there are many things worse than being stuck in a traffic jam – one example being a root canal – so chill out, relax and if you have to drive in the area make sure you’ve got good music.”

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A few months ago I was surprised to hear a comment on National Public Radio that Washington D.C. and Chicago are the two worst cities for commuters. Really? How can anything be worse than  Southern California where traffic jams are the norm, and we even have a name for them, Sig Alert.

SigAlerts” named after L.A. radio executive Loyd Sigmon, are advisories of severe traffic conditions.   A Sig Alert is defined by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) as “any unplanned event that causes the closing of one lane of traffic for 30 minutes or more”.


About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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9 Responses to L.A.’s counting down to “Carmageddon” …

  1. Priya says:

    I am glad I do not live in that area. Or do not need to get on to a traffic-y road more than once a week. Phew*.

    Do you have good music in your car? Will you stay at home?

    *You will understand the phew if you once, just once, travel on Indian roads! 😀

    • dearrosie says:

      You are darn lucky to be able to work from home! When they took down the previous bridge on the 405 my commute went from one hour to two hours! ouch.
      I know a little about the roads in India so I think I understand your phew!

      I do have good music but one doesnt really need it here, maybe because we spend so much time trapped in our cars we have excellent radio here

  2. Cindy says:

    Worse thing possible, I hope you can stay home 😦

  3. Boris says:

    I plan to let my dog direct all our travel for that weekend

  4. bronxboy55 says:

    I’m sure a lot of people would love to stay home, but are employers cooperating? Some jobs require people to be there. Yours would be one, I’d imagine. I also wonder if some local businesses are going to benefit from the diverted traffic going by. In any event, I hope everyone stays calm this weekend.

    • dearrosie says:

      Four big hospitals in the area are concerned that doctors, nurses, and patients won’t be able to get to emergency rooms. Staff are going to spend the weekend in local hotels, and student residences on campus.

      Owners of restaurants are expecting locals to eat at their establishments which could be great for business, but they don’t know how their staff are going to get to work. Some of them are going to bring sleeping bags and sleep at work.

  5. Pingback: The mother of all traffic jams, or an excuse for a weekend away? | Wondering Rose

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