'Carmageddon' downtown brings street closures, expected gridlock
Officials are urging motorists to avoid downtown L.A. on Sunday if possible due to numerous street closure and crowds related to various sporting events.
Tens of thousands of cycling, hockey and basketball fans will converge at Staples Center in a weekend packed with post-season games and the final stage of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California — events that authorities are warning will close streets and delay traffic in the downtown area.
The heaviest traffic will be generated by crowds overlapping to attend the Kings game and the bike-race finish.
Street closures were scheduled to begin after the Lakers' NBA playoff game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night — along Figueroa Street from Pico to Olympic boulevards and on Chick Hearn Court/11th Street from Flower Avenue to Georgia Street — when two pedestrian bridges will be built in preparation for Kings fans crossing the Amgen bike route Sunday morning for Game 4 of the NHL Western Conference finals.
Kings fans are encouraged to arrive early — Staples Center will be open at 9 a.m. for Sunday's noon game, with pregame events and refreshments available. Kings fans who aren’t using public transit should park north of the arena, with cycling fans parking to the south or in lots at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, where there will be free shuttle service. A bike valet will also be provided at Staples Center.
Outside Staples, the final day of the eight-day, 750-mile professional bike race is expected to end by noon Sunday after a five-mile downtown circuit.
Street closures along the circuit will begin at 7 a.m., with thousands expected to participate in a free biking event along the course before Amgen riders enter starting at about 10:30 a.m.
See a larger map of bike race street closures — which stretch from Beverly Hills to downtown L.A. — here.
— Rosanna Xia
Image: Course map of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California in L.A. Credit: Los Angeles Times