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Carmageddon II: Officials likely to use same fear-factor approach

July 17, 2011 |  3:14 pm

Click here for more photos So, what about Carmageddon II?

Because the weekend closure of a 10-mile stretch of the 405 was a non-event in terms of congestion, a second closure next year could be a tough sell in car-dependent L.A.

But Mike Barbour, director of the 405 widening project, said he sees no reason to change strategies: lots of hype, ample use of social media and the threat of gridlock if motorists don’t stay off the freeways.

"It worked, so let's do it again," Barbour said.

PHOTOS: Carmageddon closes the 405 Freeway

But some of the fear factor will inevitably wear off, he said. "Next time, if they don't want to believe that, it would be a problem," Barbour said. "I'm not trying to scare people. I'd rather they just take our word."

If anything, he said, authorities may try to be even more emphatic next time.

“Maybe we need to be more creative, too, in what weekend we pick," he said. He said organizers tried to pick a weekend when no major events were planned -- both the Dodgers and Angels were out of town --  but overlooked the Real Madrid-Galaxy soccer match.

"Our task is to make sure they know it's still critical" to stay off the freeways next time, he said. "We dodged the Carmageddon bullet."


Carmageddon ends: 405 Freeway reopens

Why drivers stayed off the roads during Carmageddon

Carmageddon: JetBlue passengers, race participants describe experience

 -- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: A 405 Freeway sign thanks northbound motorists for helping to avoid the feared "Carmageddon" traffic jam scenario. The freeway reopened 17 hours early after crews demolished half of the Mulholland Drive bridge. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times