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'Carmageddon" A closing of a major LA freeway for weekend constuction causes chaos in Southern Calif

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Upcoming 405 closure could trigger a domino effect of gridlock

Officials encourage drivers to stay home, warning of possible cascading logjams on alternative routes.

 

 

By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times

 

July 9, 2011

Marcella and Richard Tyler may be in the path of a traffic hurricane many fear will whip around next weekend's shutdown of the 405 Freeway, one of the most heavily traveled interstates in the nation.

 

The couple's Sherman Oaks neighborhood, near Sepulveda Boulevard, sits in an extended corridor between the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles most at risk of becoming clogged with motorists trying to skirt the 53-hour closure of the 405 for construction work.

 

Whether "Carmageddon" will paralyze the Los Angeles Basin or turn into a Y2K-style bust as motorists heed warnings to stay off the road is anybody's guess.

 

But under worst-case scenarios, transportation officials fear the closure could trigger a domino effect of gridlocked surface streets. Sepulveda Boulevard, which roughly parallels the 405, and other major thoroughfares on the Westside and in the San Fernando Valley, Malibu and Santa Monica could become cascading logjams.

 

The best options are to stick to other freeways or stay home, said Bruce Gillman, a Los Angeles Department of Transportation spokesman. "If people want to go out and drive, they could be putting themselves into a very frustrating situation."

 

Among the most likely trouble spots, officials say, are the mostly two-lane north-south canyon roads connecting the Valley and western Los Angeles County. Those roads, which traverse affluent neighborhoods like Bel-Air, can bog down in normal weekend traffic.

 

They include Sepulveda Boulevard, Beverly Glen Boulevard, Benedict Canyon Drive, Coldwater Canyon Drive, Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Cahuenga Boulevard. Despite extensive public warnings to stay away from the area, representatives of some canyon neighborhood groups are dreading a hillside traffic nightmare — or worse.

 

"It will be bumper to bumper," said Dan Palmer, the emergency preparedness representative of the Residents of Beverly Glen. "Our biggest fear is a fire. The second would be a medical emergency. Lots of my neighbors are planning to be out of town that weekend. I wish I could do that too."

 

Along the coast, scenic Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu is a tourist and beachgoer magnet on almost any summer weekend. Officials fear drivers angling around the closure to the west — particularly those traveling to or from Ventura and the Central Coast — could overload the highway.

 

And while Topanga Canyon Boulevard has been designated an alternative route, officials are urging people to avoid that narrow, winding mountain pass, which links Pacific Coast Highway to the Ventura Freeway in the western San Fernando Valley.

 

To the south, Santa Monica officials are preparing for a potential onslaught of detouring motorists, in addition to the usual throng of summer visitors. Backups are likely near Interstate 10 and the town's busiest freeway offramps — Cloverfield Boulevard and 4th and 5th streets.

 

The Cloverfield exit, notorious for frustrating delays, serves one of the city's largest commercial districts and would be a good place to avoid, officials say.

 

Valerie Griffin, chair of the Wilshire/Montana Neighborhood Coalition in Santa Monica, is staying put next weekend but appealed to those planning to travel to her area to "use transit, bicycle and walk."

 

"One other thing," she added, "they should be polite about the situation."

 

Robin Gee, a Santa Monica spokeswoman, said the community is bracing "for something like the July 4 weekend, our busiest weekend of the summer."

 

Crawling cars may not be confined to the Westside. Twelve miles east of the closure, the Harbor Freeway also could be a mess. It will probably capture much of the rerouted traffic, and on Saturday up to 100,000 people are expected to attend a soccer match between Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy at the L.A. Coliseum, next to the freeway.

 

To keep traffic moving around the 10-mile closure area, officials say that 70% of the weekend traffic that would normally pass through that section of the 405 must be eliminated or diverted to public transit and other freeways, bypassing surface streets. This means that about 200,000 trips per day have to be canceled or go elsewhere.

 

Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials are hoping Sepulveda Boulevard and Westside canyon roads will be used only by local residents. But that seems unlikely."

 

 

 

 

Here their latest on 7/16/11 during first hours of project at 6am Saturday(9am Eastern time)update http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/07/carmageddon-too-early-to-declare-traffic-victory.html

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This closure has gotten huge national/international media attention. This "405" freeway a spur of Interstate 5 (the west coast version of I-95) is like closing the Long Island Expressway between the Midtown Tunnel and Springfield Blvd interchange.

 

Hopefully the LA Metro (aka MTA) increased service on buses and light rail in that part of LA County.:eek:

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LRG you don't have to care:cool:. Just like some folks in LA did not care when NYC shut down for the Dec. 2005 NYC subway/bus transit strike.

 

Although it's 3,000 miles away, our nation's highways and bridges are in need of repair and projects like those in LA will soon hit NYC.

 

 

This was a big story was in the national news that also will impact big cities like NY and thus reason i posted it. Also most important was curious if a major highway in NYC like the LIE, FDR Drive, Bruckner, Brooklyn Bridge or even SI expressway shut down for a weekend construction could the 'Big Apple' handle it? And also could the New York (MTA) handle the extra traffic from displaced drivers?:eek:

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We need more mass transit. Someone should have had thought of creating some sort of railway next to the expressway if they see so much use on the highway.

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We need more mass transit. Someone should have had thought of creating some sort of railway next to the expressway if they see so much use on the highway.

 

Roadcruiser1 is right.

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Not my problem....

 

Post count, Post count LRG. If he really cared he wouldn't have cut and paste an article from the internet it would have been his own words.

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This is LA we're talking about... Have ether of you two actually been there? Attacking thier car culture is like mocking us for riding the subway.

 

Very true. My Mom and Sister live down the road in San Diego. The car culture is much about LA as the subway/mass transit is to NYC. Unless you live in the 'City of LA' owning a car is must in that region.

 

While roadcrusier makes a good point about increasing mass transit across America, we still years away from LA having a mass transit that even in same area code as NYC, Chicago, Washington DC, Boston, etc.

 

In recent years traffic on the freeways in SoCal has gotten so bad they have re-started their mass transit network with light and commutter rails. They also trying to bulid a HSR connecting San Diego/LA with the SF Bay area.

 

Again it maybe 3,000 miles away but our roads/bridges closer to home are aging and not in great shape either. Thus could NYC handle a sudden weekend closure to the LIE or the Brooklyn Bridge. So indirectly this could have impact on NYC as well in near future.:eek:

 

And the NYC subways has to perform weekend go's.

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I have an aunt that lives in California so I do know about their car culture, and I most certainly want it to end. They need to be more green, and they need to stop polluting the environment.

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As for someone who drove in California I was just amazed @ how many cars jam up those highways. It looks insane on TV but when you see it in person its crazy. They really need to promote public transportation. The entire time I was out there I didnt see a full bus. I saw more empty buses then anything. My hotel was 20mins from Staples Center & it took 30+ mins to get there.

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if the LIE closed like that, there would be rioting
It wouldn't be only the LIE that'd cause people to riot. The Gowanus Expressway and/or BQE closing, too.

 

Speaking of which, imagine if I-405 was closed for longer than just this weekend…

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It wouldn't be only the LIE that'd cause people to riot. The Gowanus Expressway and/or BQE closing, too.

 

Speaking of which, imagine if I-405 was closed for longer than just this weekend…

 

people would probably attempt to go around the barrier adn drive on it anyway

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It wouldn't be only the LIE that'd cause people to riot. The Gowanus Expressway and/or BQE closing, too.

 

Speaking of which, imagine if I-405 was closed for longer than just this weekend…

 

there was talks at one point about tearing down the Gowanus and replacing it with a couple of things, one was a boulevard like the west side highway, Words cannot describe the stupidity of getting rid of Brooklyn's only expressway like that.

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if the LIE closed like that, there would be rioting

 

No there wouldn't, they have done major work closing that road lot.

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And theres always Northern Blvd, Q.blvd to Union Tnpk, Throggs neck to Northern ect ect. On a Weekday Morning, to me theres no such thing as the 495, it don't exist because theres other ways around that 24-7 parking lot nightmare.

 

278 BQE, 95 cross bronx expressway, 495 L.I.E is like playing Russian roulette.

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And theres always Northern Blvd, Q.blvd to Union Tnpk, Throggs neck to Northern ect ect. On a Weekday Morning, to me theres no such thing as the 495, it don't exist because theres other ways around that 24-7 parking lot nightmare.

 

278 BQE, 95 cross bronx expressway, 495 L.I.E is like playing Russian roulette.

 

Dont remind me l0l

 

Some of these Jersey people be freaking out at the AC Expressway. I have a few riders that always get nervous when they see traffic and they always ask me how I handle it so well. I'm like I put up with traffic long enough in NYC and this is nothing. Some of these other NJT drivers down here cant drive in traffic for shyt.

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there was talks at one point about tearing down the Gowanus and replacing it with a couple of things, one was a boulevard like the west side highway, Words cannot describe the stupidity of getting rid of Brooklyn's only expressway like that.

 

Actually my former boss former NYC Councilman Ken Fisher suggested tearing down the Gowanus and buliding a 'big dig boston' putting the BQE underground in a new tunnel bulit on 2nd Ave.:cool:

 

While 3rd Ave would have been a 'Brooklyn West Side Highway.' I worked for Councilman Fisher when he lost the bid to be Brooklyn Boro President.

 

And back to the '405' freeway shutdown. They better be ready by 6am Monday morning or else there will be riots out there.

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