'Carmageddon' downtown: 'No major issues' around LA Live so far
Despite concerns about gridlocked streets and clogged freeways in and around downtown because of various sporting events, transportation officials said Sunday that there had been no major problems and were cautiously optimistic that this would continue through the evening.
"There have been no major issues today," said Christopher Rider, a spokesman for the city's Department of Transportation. Rider said it was clear that many Los Angeles Kings fans arrived at Staples Center earlier than normal to avoid congestion.
The worst of the traffic downtown appeared to be from about 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. when the beginning of the Kings playoff game overlapped with the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California, a professional bike race that began last Sunday in Santa Rosa. There was some backup on city streets surrounding the Staples Center and LA Live.
But that was "nothing beyond what they would expect" for a sold-out game at Staples, Rider said.
Officials with the Los Angeles Police Department on Sunday afternoon also said they had not heard of any major problems so far.
"Everything's moving, everybody's cooperating, no major incidents," said LAPD spokesperson Karen Rayner, who had just gotten off a call with traffic officials.
As for the freeways, Officer Ed Jacobs of the California Highway Patrol said at about 1 p.m. that the flow was "very normal" except for a bit of expected backup.
"I think people took the advice and got down there early," Jacobs said.
It also appeared as though many sports fans were using public transportation to get to Staples Center and LA Live, and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority reported increased usage at two rail stations near the events.
But officials noted that they are not out of the woods yet, with more events going on throughout the afternoon and evening, including a Clippers playoff game that will follow the Kings at Staples Center and a Dodgers game at 5 p.m. at Chavez Ravine.
-- Ari Bloomekatz