Sitting near a fountain at The Grove on Saturday morning with sunglasses and a smile, Morgan Land couldn't think of anything he'd dread more than sitting in traffic on the 405 Freeway this weekend.
"I plan my day so I don't have to be in traffic," said Morgan, 40, a screenwriter. "It's hard to relax in traffic. It's a nightmarish scenario. My time is precious to me."
Land said he hated the idea of venturing into Carmageddon II traffic because the thought that there would be "no way out" was traumatizing. Transit officials have closed a 10-mile stretch of the 405 this weekend as part of a $1-billion widening project.
On Saturday, Land sat with his 1-year-old daughter, Betsy, enjoying the sunshine after a short walk from his home nearby. His parents, Bob Land, 71, and Rochelle Land, 66, have been talking about Carmageddon II for weeks because another son was driving in from San Diego on Saturday to catch a Sunday flight to Hawaii.
The trip was planned long before he found out Carmageddon II was on the same weekend. But Rochelle said her son wasn't too concerned because the first Carmageddon wasn't bad.
Bob, who works as an attorney in Philadelphia, heard about Carmageddon II on the East Coast. It made the news there as well.
"It's a big deal" when the car culture in Los Angeles is affected, he said.
To Rochelle, there's a certain Los Angeles charm to big events like Carmageddon and the fuss they create.
"Look what they did with the rock at [the Los Angeles County Museum of Art] and the space shuttle," she said. "It's crazy. That's why I love it."
-- Hailey Branson-Potts
Photo: All lanes of the 405 Freeway are empty except for construction trucks as crews continue to demolish a portion of the Mulholland Drive bridge along the 405 Freeway Saturday. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images