Southern California is known for its freeways, traffic, and the millions of automobiles that travel through them. Since many commuters are dependent on the freeways, when there is a traffic jam or a closed freeway, a dreadful situation is beset amongst those who need the road. This upcoming weekend, the dubbed “Carmageddon II” is schedule as part of the Interstate 405 freeway is closed.
In 2011, the first Carmageddon was predicted when construction had to be done on part of the 405 and a section of the freeway was closed for a couple of days. Other transportation agencies—airplane flights, train rides, etc.—even offered deals to help ease the burden of the closed freeway. Oddly enough, the first Carmageddon went smoothly enough since many drivers found alternatives to the 10-mile 405 stretch that was inapproachable. Los Angeles had seen some of the lightest freeway weekend traffic in years during that declared doomsday. However, will it be the same for Carmageddon II?
Starting on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 12:01 a.m., part of the 405 freeway will close to finish work on a bridge. All of the roadwork on the 405 is expected to be finished by the end of next year when the roads will be wider and a carpool in place between Sepulveda Pass and over the Santa Monica Mountains. On Monday, Oct. 1 at 5 a.m., the freeway roads are scheduled to reopen just before rush hour hits.
While Carmageddon II takes place, loads of recreational activities are being offered in museums and theaters listed on artmageddonla.com. These event coordinators are encouraging people to walk or bike instead of taking their car.
The art folk have found ways around Carmageddon and it looks like the UCLA campus as well as the UCLA Medical Center have emergency plans as well. The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center will be housing about 300 doctors, nurses, and staff members at nearby hotels so that they will not have to drive to work. The UCLA campus has initiated an emergency traffic diversion plan.
In the original Carmageddon, many travelers opted to stay at home and avoid the freeways. Luckily enough, the 405 had opened 17 hours ahead of schedule. This year, road workers are telling commuters to not expect the same result since there will be more work this year. If last year’s freeway doomsday was any indication, let us hope that Carmageddon II turns out to be nothing more that over-hyped madness.
Freeway craziness can be the cause of many car accidents. This year, let’s encourage more travelers to walk and bike in order to avoid any traffic or unnecessary personal injuries.