In the days leading up to the closure of a section of freeway in Los Angeles, people were talking about “Carmageddon,” saying it would wreak havoc. It appears the hype was a overblown; traffic was light and very little happened.
Road construction project wraps early
For the past few weeks, there has been a lot of hype over the event dubbed “Carmageddon” in Los Angeles, Calif. A 10-mile section of the I-405 freeway outside Los Angeles was scheduled to close over the weekend of July 15, and rerouted traffic was predicted to clog the city with cars for days, bringing everything in Los Angeles to a standstill. However, as some officials predicted in a recent article on the Seattle Post Intelligencer, the fallout from the freeway closure was anticlimactic. According to Reuters, there was light traffic all weekend, and the freeway construction finished hours ahead of schedule.
Residents relish relaxed atmosphere
The construction crew that undertook the demolition of a quarter of the Mulholland Drive bridge finished the project 17 hours early, and the 405 freeway was able to reopen after 42 hours. The 405 was reopened on Sunday, July 17, in the afternoon. It had been scheduled to reopen about 6 a.m. on Monday. Many residents of Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times, liked the fact that traffic calmed down considerably over the weekend. Carmageddon-related Tweets mocked the hype and lamented the return of frantic traffic on Monday morning. The 405 will be closed again next year, as a $1 billion construction project is widening traffic lanes to improve traffic flow.
Stig in the mud
Part of Carmageddon weekend was a race between JetBlue and other forms of transport to see which could cross Los Angeles the quickest. JetBlue planned a series of flights from Los Angeles International to the Bob Hope airport in Burbank over Carmageddon weekend. The race was possibly inspired by a similar race on an episode of hugely popular British television show “Top Gear,” where the hosts of the show, including the mysterious “tamed racing driver” known only as “The Stig,” raced across London using a bicycle, public transportation, a boat and a car. A group of cyclists known as Wolfpack Hustle, according to MSNBC, faced off against a live-Tweeting passenger aboard the JetBlue flight, a man who rode the L.A. metro train, and another racer on roller blades. The bicyclists arrived at the finish line right as the plane took off from LAX, and the other two non-flying passengers finished soon afterward.
Seattle PI: http://www.seattlepi.com/default/article/LA-readies-for-Carmageddon-weekend-1465606.php
Los Angeles Times: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/07/end-of-carmageddon-celebrated-mocked-and-mourned-online.html
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