Seeking ideas for Carmageddon II — the Sequel (!)

Photo by Asim Bharwani, via Flickr creative commons.

You may be sick of Carmageddon. (You may not be the only one.) But the good folks who protected us from the horrors of being stuck in our cars for nine hours without Diet Coke or a bathroom will soon begin working on a new plan to convince everyone to plan ahead, avoid the area or stay home for … Carmageddon II — the Sequel (!) when the northern half of the Mulholland Bridge will be demolished.

There are more than a few smart people who think we Southern Californians, being a generally optimistic lot, will consider ignoring the stay-home warnings next time around, reasoning that there was no issue with the 2011 closure so “just a few cars” added to the mix will be okay.

Au contraire, gentle readers. As one woman put it, “I’ll be the only one, so what’s the  problem?” Too many “only ones” is the answer.

The reality is that in 11 months time the 405 will still be the busiest, most congested freeway in the nation and the number of vehicles that drive it — 500,000 on a typical July weekend — is not expected to change. There will still be a clear and present danger for regional gridlock. But can the public be encouraged a second time to avoid demolition activities in theSepulveda Pass? What can the public protectors of the 405 closure do to keep us off the roads?

Tell us what you think. Maybe you’re the one who will save humanity as we know it next time around. Maybe you’re the one who will help bring a second peaceful weekend to our traffic smothered region.

Related: I-4o5 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project website.

4 replies

  1. I doubt the Expo Line will have any impact on traffic. If someone using public transportation from downtown wanted to get to the valley, they’d use the Red Line.

    Besides. At this rate The Expo might not be open yet next July.

  2. Well, unlike 2011’s closure, the Expo Line will be operating between Culver City and Downtown LA. That will get people moving!

  3. All new public notices should somehow reference the first message. The overall theme should focus on the success of the first message and show that carmageddon 1 was averted BECAUSE people listened and stayed home. The messages should highlight the fact that “nothing happened” because everything generally went according to plan. The roadways being open was the ultimate goal and that’s what actually happened. A repeat performance is now needed.

    However, I don’t think the same traffic doomsday messages can be used once again. People won’t pay attention if the message is structured in such a negative and “catastrophic” way because this was the method used last time and people now associate such tactics with unproven hype.

    But, some public outreach, surveys, and focus groups can be ESPECIALLY helpful to see which kinds of messages will be successful this time around.