Carmageddon II: Officials likely to use same fear-factor approach
Because the weekend closure of a 10-mile stretch of the 405 was a non-event in terms of congestion, a second closure next year could be a tough sell in car-dependent L.A.
But Mike Barbour, director of the 405 widening project, said he sees no reason to change strategies: lots of hype, ample use of social media and the threat of gridlock if motorists don’t stay off the freeways.
"It worked, so let's do it again," Barbour said.
But some of the fear factor will inevitably wear off, he said. "Next time, if they don't want to believe that, it would be a problem," Barbour said. "I'm not trying to scare people. I'd rather they just take our word."
If anything, he said, authorities may try to be even more emphatic next time.
“Maybe we need to be more creative, too, in what weekend we pick," he said. He said organizers tried to pick a weekend when no major events were planned -- both the Dodgers and Angels were out of town -- but overlooked the Real Madrid-Galaxy soccer match.
"Our task is to make sure they know it's still critical" to stay off the freeways next time, he said. "We dodged the Carmageddon bullet."
-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Photo: A 405 Freeway sign thanks northbound motorists for helping to avoid the feared "Carmageddon" traffic jam scenario. The freeway reopened 17 hours early after crews demolished half of the Mulholland Drive bridge. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times