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Carmageddon: Mayor delighted to see empty streets

July 16, 2011 |  4:20 pm

Click for more photos of the 405 Freeway closure From a helicopter flying over Los Angeles on Saturday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa pointed at the almost empty streets below, not just near the 405, but all over the city, and expressed satisfaction.

"We had hoped this would happen," Villaraigosa said. "People have answered the call. They have stepped up to the plate in recognizing that the best way to do this is to stay out of their cars."

PHOTOS: 'Carmageddon' closes the 405 Freeway

The mayor took off from City Hall East in the afternoon, and his 32-minute flight zoomed over the 10, 110 and 101 freeways and afforded views of La Cienega, Santa Monica and Wilshire boulevards. All seemed nearly deserted.

 Someone joked over the headsets that you could run the L.A. Marathon today on the 101.

But Villaraigosa cautioned that traffic could still take a turn for the worse. "We're not over the hump yet," he said. "We're not going to gloat yet."

 RELATED:

Carmageddon: Public transit ridership up, officials say

Carmageddon: Celebrities joke, celebrate 405 closure on Twitter

Carmageddon: Construction ahead of schedule, officials say

-- From a pool reporter in the mayor's helicopter

Photo: Few cars can be seen driving on the 405 Freeway during "Carmageddon" weekend. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times

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