Free service on the subway, Orange Line and 25 bus lines continues on Sunday

The view of the 405 this afternoon looking north from Sunset Boulevard. Photo by Carter Rubin/Metro.

Just a reminder: the free service Metro is providing on the subway, Orange Line and select bus lines continues on Sunday to help people get around during the 405 closure.

Here’s a lengthy post explaining where you can find the free service, which is intended to help connect the San Fernando Valley to the Westside with the 405 out of commission while work continues tearing down the south side of the Mulholland Drive Bridge.

Also, if you’re having a slow Saturday night or you and your honey are really into the art of demolition — to each his own, I say — here’s the live video feed of crews working on the bridge.

Highlights from this afternoon's news conference on 405 closure

Officials from the city of Los Angeles and Metro finished a news conference a few minutes ago at the city’s Emergency Operations Center in downtown. A few highlights:

•L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa thanked everyone, including the media, for helping get the word out to avoid area roads if at all possible. The mayor said he took a helicopter view of the area earlier this afternoon and saw light traffic around the area.

•LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk  Albanese said that anyone trying to walk on the freeway will be arrested. It may be empty of cars, but it’s a construction zone and people need to stay away for their safety and the safety of others.

•Officials said they will likely have to be more creative next year in persuading the public to stay out of their cars when the northern side of the Mulholland Bridge will be torn down. They won’t want people to assume it’s okay to drive because traffic has thus far been light this year.

•Officials are also asking anyone attending the soccer game tonight at the L.A. Coliseum or concerts at the Hollywood Bowl to consider taking public transit or carpooling.

Latest progress report on 405 closure, bridge work

As of 2:30 p.m., a report from the contractor, Kiewet, says that all work is on schedule:

•All three girders of the center span of the bridge have been demolished and crews are beginning to clear away the demolished concrete, steel, and dirt pad from under the center span.

•The northern half of the bridge (portion that will remain for 11 months) is now exposed in the center span. Crews are at work thoroughly cleaning the new exposed edges.

•The top deck of the bridge has now been demolished from end to end leaving only girders and bottom deck on the end spans.

•The first of three girders has been demolished on the western span. Work has begun demolishing girders on the eastern span.

•Workers this afternoon will begin to saw through the large concrete beams on top of the columns, an undertaking expected to last into Saturday night.

There is also a good post on the website of Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, whose district includes the Sepulveda Pass and the Mulholland Drive Bridge being partially torn down this weekend. Excerpt:

We have 40 hours or less to go, and I urge all of you to stay the course. Stay home, patronize local stores and restaurants, and do everything you can to stay out of your cars until this weekend’s work is completed. It worked last night, and it’s working this morning. We need to sustain this for another day and a half, and then Carmageddon will be in our rear view mirror.

Transit guide to Carmageddon: where to find the free rides, increased service and other tips

Affected area and transit service enhancements.

Affected area and transit service enhancements.

FREE fares on subway and select bus lines

Free fares in effect on Saturday, July 16 & Sunday, July 17

Line & Main Corridor Line & Main Corridor
2 – Sunset Bl 233 & 761 – Van Nuys Bl
4 & 704 – Santa Monica Bl 234 – Sepulveda Bl, Brand Bl
20 & 720 – Wilshire Bl 236 – Glenoaks Bl, Balboa Bl
33 & 733 – Venice Bl 240 – Reseda Bl
150 – Ventura Bl 242 & 243 – Tampa Av, Winnetka Av
152 – Roscoe Bl 244 – De Soto Av
155 – Riverside Dr, Olive Av 245 – Topanga Canyon Bl
158 – Woodman Av 656 – Van Nuys/Hollywood OWL
161 – Agoura Rd Metro Orange Line
183 – San Fernanado Rd Metro Red Line
224 – Lankershim Bl Metro Purple Line
230 – Laurel Canyon Bl

Increased service on rail and select bus lines

Line Additional Service
2 – Sunset Bl Between Downtown LA & Beverly Hills;Between Beverly Hills & Pac. Palisades
150 – Ventura Bl Between Universal City Red Line Sta & Reseda Bl
534 – PCH Between Downtown Santa Monica & Malibu Civic Center
704 – Santa Monica Between Vermont/Santa Monica Red Line Sta & Century City
720 – Wilshire Bl Between Wilshire/Vermont Red/Purple Line Sta & Century City
733 – Venice Bl Between Downtown LA & future Culver City Expo Sta (Venice/National)
761 – Van Nuys Bl Between Pacoima & Sherman Oaks (Van Nuys/Ventura)
Metro Red Line Every 5-10 min all weekend; Longer trains all weekend
Metro Purple Line Every 5-10 min all weekend; Longer trains all weekend
Metro Blue Line Longer early morning & late night trains
Metro Green Line Every 10 min all weekend; Longer early morning & late night trains
Metro Gold Line Longer early morning & late night trains
Metrolink
Extra service on Antelope Valley & Ventura County Lines
96 – Riverside Every 30 min instead of every 60 min
155 – Olive Every 30 min instead of every 60 min
156 – Burbank Every 30 min instead of every 60 min
158 – Woodman/Devonshire Every 30 min instead of every 60 min
161 – Agoura Every 25-30 min instead of every 50-60 min
167 – Plummer Every 25 min instead of every 50 min
183 – Magnolia Every 30 min instead of every 60 min
218 – Laurel Cyn Every 17-20 min instead of every 35-40 min
222 – Hollywood Every 25-30 min instead of every 50-60 min
236 – Balboa Every 30 min instead of every 60 min
242 & 243 – Tampa/Winnetka Every 30 min instead of every 60 min
244 – De Soto Every 25 min instead of every 50 min
245 – Topanga Cyn Every 25-30 min instead of every 50-60 min

Bus lines on detour due to 405 closure

Major delays are expected on Line 761 and Line 233 traveling between Sherman Oaks and Westwood/UCLA due to anticipated congestion for the I-405 Weeekend Closure.

Line Location Detour
233 (Late Night/Early Morning Westwood Trips) 405 Fwy between Ventura Blvd. & 10 Fwy Southbound Only: Regular route to Ventura Blvd. and Kester Ave., then continue via Ventura Blvd. to (L) Sepulveda Blvd. to Herscher Way and regular route.
761 405 Fwy between Ventura Blvd. & 10 Fwy Southbound Only: Regular route to Ventura Blvd. and Kester Ave., then continue via Ventura Blvd. to (L) Sepulveda Blvd. to Herscher Way and regular route.

After the jump, more info on LA Galaxy vs Real Madrid service, Metrolink, Amtrak, Big Blue Bus and additional tips for surviving Carmageddon without a car. Continue reading

I-405 Closure Counter widget to transform into live stream of images of Carmageddon at midnight on Friday

When the I-405 Countdown to Closure clock rolls into zero at midnight on July 16, the by-now onerous warning will morph into high-definition images streamed live from metro.net for a world-wide view of the demolition work on the Mulholland Bridge during Carmageddon weekend.

The countdown clock, a web widget downloadable in various sizes from metro.net, went viral in June when anticipation for the world’s largest traffic jam jumped the shark. By July 1, web counters had clocked 1,173,792 views of the media assets page.  What’s more, the counters have been embedded in at least 100 local sites, not including this page (at right). All such widgets will morph into the live stream when their counters reach zero.

Continue reading

Is a social media app the savior of Carmageddon? ABC 7 thinks so.

Our trusty 405 closure countdown clock tells me that it’s 9 days until Carmageddon… yikes!

While officials are recommending staying off the roads the weekend of July 16th, those who have no choice are looking for solutions to ease the misery. Metro has decided to offer free rides on 26 bus lines and the Red, Purple and Orange lines to encourage transit as an alternative – but for those who insist on driving the solution may be found in a social media app called Waze.

We briefly looked at Waze back in March when an interesting video visualization of L.A. traffic compiled from the app’s data was released. Now the app is back in the news thanks to the 405 closure. Local news network ABC 7 is promoting the app on their broadcasts and website as a way to best navigate around traffic on Carmageddon weekend.

ABC produced a segment on the technology, which you can view here, but this is how it works in a nutshell: drivers download the app and register as a user, the app then uses GPS technology to track a user’s driving speed and location and combines it with data coming from other users to create a real time picture of traffic conditions. The app then uses this live traffic data to generate the best route.

I’m not a driver so I haven’t tested the app on the road, but it has a slick 3D map interface and an average 4.5 stars (out of 5) on the Apple App Store. In addition to Apple, the app is also available for Android, Blackberry and Nokia.