The first Carmageddon, when the 405 freeway was shut down for much of a weekend last summer to facilitate the take-down of an old bridge, was so successful that some businesses on the Westside complained that too many people just stayed home.
This time around L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who represents the Westside, is taking a page from the George W. Bush playbook on economic stimulus and encouraging people to shop, eat and play as they avoid the 405.
Don't just stay home, he says:
“We don't have to tank the local economy,” to avoid the freeway, he said at a news conference yesterday (via the Los Angeles Daily News):
Whatever the hell you do, stay away from the 405.
Interestingly, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the opposite at the same news conference, urging Angelenos to rise to the “challenge” of Carmageddon 2 and stay in “your neighborhoods.”
“Don't get in your car,” he said.
Carmageddon 2: The Sequel, as Yaroslavsky calls it, will start to shut down access to the 405 between the 10 and 101 freeways starting early Friday evening on Sept. 28. Overnight it will be completely shuttered, and that's expected to last all the way through early Monday, Oct. 1.
Last year it was so successful that the Westside was a ghost town and construction wrapped up early.
L.A. Metro is in the years-long process of adding a carpool lane to the nation's busiest freeway, the 405, and will have to demo the Mulholland bridge next month.
So, uh, get out there and tippy toe around this. Or not?
Get more info on Carmageddon 2 here.