City, county and state officials met on the side of the I-405 near Mulholland Bridge this morning to again ask for the public’s cooperation for “Carmageddon II,” the second extended closure of 10 miles of the nation’s busiest freeway the weekend of Sept. 29-30.
The long anticipated closure between the I-10 and U.S. 101 is now about two months away, and transportation agencies, law enforcement, and other emergency responders are preparing for the closure the same way they did the first time: with diligent planning and concern, particularly if the public does not take seriously calls to “Plan Ahead, Avoid the Area, or Eat, Shop and Play Locally” this time.
While sending a positive tone by encouraging Angelenos to enjoy a car-free weekend and exploring their local neighborhoods by foot, bike or transit, officials also were quick to point out that the risk factors from Carmageddon I have not changed. The I-405 still ranks as the nation’s busiest freeway, and its sister freeways – the I-10 and U.S. 101 – carry their own tremendous traffic loads on weekends. The closure area is still within a geographically constrained canyon pass, with no other direct north/south connections nearby. And the final demolition of the Mulholland Bridge won’t be done early because crews have a third more work to do, meaning that the closure will likely extend until the early morning hours of Monday. The closure is set to expire by 6 a.m., just in time for morning rush hour traffic.
“You’ll hear this again and again this morning, but don’t become complacent,” warned L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Zev Yaroslavsky. He said he was confident the public would again heed the call and cooperate with authorities. They said “Thank You” following last year’s highly successful operation, and called for a car-free weekend once per month in L.A.
At least for the end of September anyway, they will get their wish granted a second time.