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Eclipse: Add Griffith Observatory, Greek Theater to traffic woes

May 19, 2012 |  6:00 pm

Solar_eclipse_altazAdd Griffith Observatory and the Greek Theater to Los Angeles' traffic woes on Sunday -- the same day as the partial solar eclipse.

Many people will be heading up to the Griffith Observatory to watch the partial solar eclipse Sunday afternoon -- the best view of such an eclipse here since 1992. Such a similar solar eclipse won't be seen until 2071. The eclipse begins after 5:24 p.m. and lasts through 7:42 p.m.

On top of that, the nearby Greek Theater is hosting the California Music Festival and AIDS Walk.

Griffith Observatory officials said those planning on coming up for the eclipse should get there early and plan ahead. Parking is limited, and authorities expect spaces on West Observatory Road and Western Canyon to fill up quickly; they also suggested that people park on East Observatory Road.

GRAPHIC: Busy Sunday in Los Angeles

"Visitors may want to be prepared for a long, uphill walk," the observatory said.

Visitors could take the Metro Red Line to the Sunset/Vermont station and take the DASH Weekend Observatory Shuttle to the Griffith Observatory. The shuttle runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., charges 50 cents each way and runs every 35 minutes.

Earlier Sunday morning, the wrench in traffic will be in downtown, with crowds overlapping for the Kings game and bike race on Sunday.

Street closures begin after the Lakers game Saturday night — along Figueroa Avenue 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 beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday. Pre-game events and refreshments will be available. Parking and a free shuttle will also be provided at the Coliseum, and officials said a bike valet will be available 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 10:30 a.m.

Traffic will also be complicated by the Dodgers, who will be hosting the St. Louis Cardinals as part of a weekend homestand. A weekend trade show is also scheduled at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Officials are encouraging people to ditch their cars. Public transportation — including the Red, Purple, Blue and Expo Lines — all stop near Staples Center. Those who can't live without their cars should allow plenty of extra time for the drive.


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-- Rong-Gong Lin II and Rosanna Xia

Photo: A dog trots on the Fern Dell to Griffith Observatory trail in the Griffith Park area of Los Angeles in March 2011. Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times

Photo: Eclipse graphic. Credit: Griffith Observatory, used with permission