Ask the Mayor: Is L.A. ready for another Carmageddon? [Google+ Hangout]
In a few hours, a 10-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass will be closed for the second time in 14 months.
Carmageddon II is the second half of a major hurdle in a $1-billion road improvement project that includes demolishing an 80-foot-tall bridge so it can be rebuilt wider, and adding a northbound 405 carpool lane through that stretch of the Sepulveda Pass.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke Friday with Times transportation reporter Ari Bloomekatz about the freeway closure during a live Google+ Hangout.
Angelenos should stay home this weekend, shop locally and especially stay away from the Westside, Villaraigosa said. After last year’s “Carmaheaven,” city officials are hoping for a repeat by encouraging residents to eat at neighborhood restaurants, stay home and barbecue or finish up those “honey-do” lists.
Though some residents took to the freeways as last year’s closure drew to an end, Villaraigosa said residents should avoid the freeways throughout this entire weekend -- even if the roads look tempting.
“For that entire 53-hour period, stay the course. Whatever you do at the beginning, continue to do at the end in terms of responding to our call not to get in your car,” he said.
For drivers who must hit the freeways, Caltrans suggests they look at the agency's new traffic website, QuickMap. Those using public transit can check out Metro's Trip Planner. Motorists can also call 511 or click on go511.com to get real-time traffic information.
-- Samantha Schaefer