Carmageddon II: LAX largely unaffected by freeway closure
The Los Angeles International Airport, which sits west of the 405 Freeway, remained mostly unaffected by the closure of a 10-mile section of the freeway.
Taxi and airport shuttle drivers insisted that they weren't experiencing significant delays in getting travelers to their destinations. Most said their companies had discussed alternate routes Friday prior to the freeway closure.
"It's no big deal," said Bhvad Vanghali, an airport taxi driver who shuttles travelers between LAX and the San Fernando Valley.
Vanghali said Saturday is always a slow day for airport taxis -- with more people off work and able to pick up friends and family members -- so he had yet to experience any hassle because of the closure.
His plan is to use Sepulveda Drive to take passengers north. If that gets backed up, he said he'll head east to Beverly Glenn.
But as of noon, Vanghali's route to the Valley still came secondary to his need of customers to drive there.
"Maybe later this afternoon it will pick up," he said as he sat smoking a cigarette on a metal bench next to his cab, which was last in a line of others eagerly awaiting passengers. "But who knows."
Many travelers arriving in Los Angeles on Saturday morning were unconcerned with the closure, including one couple from Austin, Texas, who said they had not heard of the freeway shutdown as they waited for a rental car shuttle.
Another traveler, from San Diego, said he was thankful his day trip for a Dodgers game wouldn't require driving anywhere near the 405.
But Ramon Cortes, a 62-year-old traveler from Mexico, said hearing about the massive shutdown was enough to keep him from using his rental car for the weekend.
Struggling to keep hold of his three bags, Cortes said he's in Los Angeles for the weekend to see family and that after hearing of the shutdown, he almost decided to keep the car at the airport and take a taxi to the home where he's staying in West Los Angeles.
"I don't need to do much driving [while I'm here]," Cortes said, adding that he considered paying $30 a night to leave the car at the airport.
In the end, he decided to keep the rental car and brave the Carmageddon traffic, despite being unfamiliar with L.A.
"Who knows how long it's going to take me to get there now," he said before driving off.