• Jun 7, 2011



If you've ever driven through Los Angeles, you understand how terrible the traffic can be. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it, and your commute can come to a grinding halt regardless of the hour or day. For one weekend, however, LA commuters will know exactly when traveling on the 405 will result in extreme gridlock.

California construction workers will be shutting down a 10-mile stretch of the freeway for 53 hours. On July 16th and 17th, workers will begin demolishing a portion of the 50-year-old Mulholland Bridge. Later in the year, the freeway will again be closed so that the rest may be taken down.

City officials have provided notice well ahead of the impending closure, but there's no doubt that motorists will find themselves immersed in some severe cases of gridlock. This is Southern California we're talking about, and traffic there is a part of life. That said, county supervisor Zev Yaroslovsky has some poignant advice for worried motorists:

The best alternative route is to totally avoid the 405 area, completely avoid it, don't come anywhere near it, don't even think about coming to it. Stay the heck out of here.

We'll see how that goes...


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 68 Comments
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      If only these heavily congested sections of the country had an alternative to just highway driving.. ... if only there was a high speed rail system to help off-load some of the traffic off the highways instead. But alas that type of logical thinking is just too foreign in this country. The Japanese, German, French and now even the Chinese of the world will enjoy it while year in, year out our highways get more and more jammed and then in cases like this entire sections of the system are shut causing much more problem since we rely on a one-solution system.
        KaiserWilhelm
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        Yup, were pretty stupid
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        I would not go so far as to say public transit is "foreign in this country". People between the DC-Baltimore and Boston areas seem to embrace it quite well. California in general experienced the bulk of its growth and development during the age of the automobile and the and the freeway. They are what drove that growth. Europe is a different beast entirely as their much more densely populated than the States, and their cities and towns developed lONG before the automobile. I am all for more high speed rail as well, but I am just not sure how many Americans will use it. You would think LA would embrace it, but I don't see places such as Charlotte, Detroit, or Orlando embracing such an alternative despite the gridlock and traffic.
        kevsflanagan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        Your logic makes to much sense hence why America will never accept this "High Speed Rail" thing you speak of! Honestly I wish we did have it since it would help people out immensely. I live in the Boston, MA area and while we do have a train system, the trains are older than I am (I'm 32) and have been breaking down recently. High speed trains and rails would do a lot to help them out. Plus a rail line from Boston to some other major cities would do a lot for tourism and business.
          Osama bin Larry
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kevsflanagan
          Actually I'm thankful for that moronic governor because the money would be better spent in the NE/CA than Florida.
          Hazdaz
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kevsflanagan
          Like I posted above, the money that would have gone to FL's high speed rail line is now being redirected to the north east corridor and to CA which will eventually add more lines and makes the trains themselves faster as well. FL's moronic governor didn't want to take the Federal money. His loss. Our gain.
          LUSTSTANG S-197
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kevsflanagan
          Hazdaz, I seriously doubt Floridians would have embraced that system. As someone who has lived in Florida, there really is not a lot of incentive for people to travel from Miami to Orlando. The middle of the state is pretty sparsely populated, so the traffic really is not that bad. The only part of the state that is densely populated is the south eastern coast, and much of that is very sprawled out and populated by retirees from the north east looking for serenity and quiet beach and gated communities, as opposed to the big city life many of them left behind. That said, this has nothing to do with Republicans and Democrats, so please don't attempt to make this about politics. In Florida's case, the ends simply wouldn't have justified the means. It makes perfect sense in a place such as New York and SoCal, given their population densities and demographics.
          sebster718
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kevsflanagan
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acela_Express
          Jeff Glucker
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kevsflanagan
          Boston has trains that run to other cities... I used to take the train from Boston to Rhode Island for school. You could keep riding and wind up in New York, DC, and on down the eastern seaboard.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        No kidding dude. There are smaller cities with WAY less money that have public transport that puts the LA area to shame. So glad to be in Portland. My car has been down for over a month and it has been a non-event for me.
      gizmoande7
      • 3 Years Ago
      As a person who commutes daily from the Valley to West LA, I don't take the 405 because it is a nightmare. That's not the reason for the panic. As a result of the closure ALL the other detours will be cram jammed with cars. Also if this 405 disaster project were being done to install a rail system in the middle of the freeway, not HOV lanes, then I wouldn't be so aggravated. It's going to get backed-up in the next 2 years anyway, then what build two more lanes? When I used to go to school downtown it took me 30min. from Balboa Orange line to NoHo redline then to downtown. AND NO STRESS of dealing with traffic on the 101. LA has improved it's public transit system, and the younger generations (18-30 demo) would rather save the hassle, price of owning/operating a car and just take the damn bus and train.
      vtecgreen
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now, I realize that St. Louis and Los Angeles are very different beasts when it comes to traffic - however when MODOT closed down a 10 mile section of I-64 (One of, if not THE major Artery to get downtown from the western suburbs), the new called for CARMEGEDDON. COMPLETE CHAOS. WORLD ENDING DISASTER. They had people on every alternate overpass. And you know what? Everyone paid attention. We found alternate routes. And guess what? Carmegeddon never came. Some people were 15 minutes late, but nothing out of the ordinary. Godspeed Los Angelenos. Godspeed.
        Making11s
        • 3 Years Ago
        @vtecgreen
        I really hope it goes as well for us as it did for you, but the St. Louis metro area has a population of about 2.8 million and the LA area has 13 or 17 million people depending on what you include in your count. The stretch of the 405 that will be closed averages almost 400,000 cars per day. This will be two days of madness. Carmageddon is coming to LA.
        vtecgreen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @vtecgreen
        I love that everyone looked over the first line of my paragraph: "Now, I realize that St. Louis and Los Angeles are very different beasts when it comes to traffic" Yes, I'm well aware of the differences. And I've even expierenced LA traffic a few times a year when I travel there on business. My point was that the so called "carmegeddon's" are typically no more than media hype. It was in St. Louis, and I hope it is in L.A. I agree it probably won't be, but hope it is.
        Hazdaz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @vtecgreen
        Its great and all that carmegeddon didn't happen in St. Louis, but you do realize that LA has some 5X as many folks as St. Louis, right? And while I have never been to St. Louis, I know around here, some highways have more "duplicates" than others. On the flip side, there are a few smaller highways that might handle a lot less cars, would cause way more problems because they are the only good/easy way to get to a certain part of the state.
        blatinotop4u
        • 3 Years Ago
        @vtecgreen
        St. Louis is NOTHING compared to driving in Los Angeles.
        Mike M
        • 3 Years Ago
        @vtecgreen
        I have been on this stretch at 2AM. It was bumper to bumper traffic.
        vtecgreen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @vtecgreen
        I forgot to mention - it was closed for a YEAR. And then another section was closed for the subsequent year.
        quiturwhinin
        • 3 Years Ago
        @vtecgreen
        This is the best words i have heard so far. All I have read so far is 405 is already jacked up enough, traffic on the 405 is always messed up no matter what time of day or hour and blah, blah, blah. IF YOU ALREADY know about it, then stay the hell out of the way. It is going to happen whether you like it or not, SSSSOOOO stay the hell home. Maybe people can just stay home and entertain themselves or spend time with the family for ONE weekend.
      hmmwv
      • 3 Years Ago
      Will be watching this on World's Toughest Fixes.
      Matthew
      • 3 Years Ago
      The 405 is my primary freeway. I live parallel to it, on the side that extends to the ocean. Normally, at rush hour, if there's traffic on the 405 all streets that lead to it are also jammed, and there is no way to get around it. At all. So thanks CalTrans. You've left me stranded. Fan-effing-tastic.
        recharged95
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Matthew
        They should just declare it a holiday. We had holidays in DC that were only DC specific.... or at least the congressmen thought it was.
          Awhattup
          • 3 Years Ago
          @recharged95
          True that, It is already a gridlock on daily basis (and the local route along side it) and block the FWY for nearly 3 days? The city won't be so functional that day.
      tantareanujellob
      • 3 Years Ago
      The problem with LA is that it needs more freeways. Theres not enough freeways to get around. The distances are huge compared to most large cities because its so spread out. More freeways = less traffic. Pretty simple really.
        MikeofLA
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tantareanujellob
        Better Mass Transit is a more logical alternative. More freeways just address the symptoms, not the disease.
          tantareanujellob
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MikeofLA
          Try designing a mass transit system that takes you from long beach to granada hills in less than 2 hours. Go ahead, do it genius.
          Patrick
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MikeofLA
          Incorrect, more freeways address the problem, mass transit does not. The problem is there is too many traffic jams, that isn't a symptom you have the causal relationships all backwards. Building trains and other forms of mass transit do not address traffic jams. Light rail and high speed rail DO NOT get people out of cars. Building more mass transit actually adds to the problem because it is between 2x to 10x more expensive. Spending money on things that do NOT get people out of cars when people are clearly using cars = more traffic jams and wasted tax dollars. Southern California needs more roads. Period.
          John S
          • 3 Years Ago
          @MikeofLA
          No, it needs better land use planning.
      axiomatik
      • 3 Years Ago
      The problem with southern California is that there are *too many* freeways. When you drive around, It feels like every two miles one freeway is merging with another, and anytime you have merging, congestion occurs. Frankly, I think socal should get rid of 1/2 of it's freeways and make more of it's surface streets into more high-capacity thoroughfares.
        blatinotop4u
        • 3 Years Ago
        @axiomatik
        get rid of freeways? Really? You obviously don't know what a freeway was made for. GEEZ the stupidity.
        Shiftright
        • 3 Years Ago
        @axiomatik
        Not sure if you can have too many freeways, not that it's a desirable idea. The problem is not the number of freeways but the number of on / off ramps, which slow everything down and contribute to traffic jams.
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        @axiomatik
        I wonder how many people in SoCal would go for that? I have never been to LA, but I do know the generalization of "the car being your identity" thing. Is that accurate? I remember a family member telling me about all of the trailer homes with BMWs and Mercedes in the driveways. Aside from the spread out nature of the area, maybe that could be a factor?
      carfan
      • 3 Years Ago
      the article says about the traffic jam : "There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it," That's not true, the reason is that americans in general but californians in PARTICULAR are terrible drivers. That's the reason
      bchreng
      • 3 Years Ago
      Looks like I'll be calling in sick those days.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        anonymous guy
        • 3 Years Ago
        I guess you don't read English. If you do, please reread the first paragraph.
      jcar302
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't pretend to know much about LA, I live in NJ and from time to time goto NY city. But, i take the train because, A. I don't want to deal with traffic B. I don't want my car banged up and destroyed and C. A train ticket costs less than the gas i'd use. Does LA not have any public transportation systems? That's a real question, not being sarcastic. One would think a train that runs parallel to this road could relieve some congestion.
        Osama bin Larry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jcar302
        Let me politely fill you in since I live in LA and have family in NYC/NJ and travel there frequently, so I can understand your mindset. The main reason we don't have a decent public transportation system is its so spread out here. There's no way I could make it to work using public transportation, it would probably take me another hour. Basically LA is a much newer city than NYC and was built for the car. ONE of the main reasons so many people flocked to LA in the early 20th century was so they could own a car, since they suddenly became affordable. Strip malls, one stop shops, drive thrus, etc. etc, a lot of that started out here and was a big attraction to the area besides the weather and scenery. And I don't blame everyone for spreading out, if you were moving to the Los Angeles area back in the day, would you rather have a nice piece of land near the ocean or be inland towards downtown and bake in the sun? If I were moving to NY I would much rather live in NYC than Hackensack... That still applies today, you couldn't pay me to live inland near downtown. So nowadays, LA/OC is a cement jungle, just about every city outside of LA has 100,000+ people, Orange County is a monster now. Everyone wants a home with a garage and a yard, not in some apartment in downtown, as does the majority of the country. Again, its ridiculously spread out and you HAVE to have a car, in NJ and the Northeast in general, it's mostly a ton of towns all nicely spread out. Out here its a ton of cities all surrounding a monster major city. My little fantasy is they take out the carpool lanes (since they do not work) and lay down some high speed rail, leave a station at every other exit and interchange so before I go to work I could just drive over to that station, leave my car there hop on the train and off I go to downtown LA, but that would require money and this state is a joke as far as budget goes so that would never happen. Cheers.
          askroon
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Osama bin Larry
          Your argument sounds good, but isn't accurate. LA was built largely on the back of a public transportation system, Henry Huntington's Pacific Electric Company (the red cars). It wasn't til the 50s that the rail system was demolished in favor of Eisenhower's new freeway system. There were other factors like GM's revolutionary buses which were heavily subsidized by the government; my point is that the city was built around public transport and could definitely have a far better public transport system. We just need two systems, a few high speed lines and a ton of local, slower lines to get people around. (Similar to the high speed orange line bus and the slower local bus routes) Sure it would cost a lot of money but it would create countless jobs and be a strong investment in LA's future.
        emperorkoku
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jcar302
        They do not have a good public transportation system.
          MikeofLA
          • 3 Years Ago
          @emperorkoku
          What part of LA are you in with a good transportation system?
        MikeofLA
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jcar302
        Yes, there were a lot of people hoping and fighting for the money that is getting wasted on this project to go towards a light rail system... obviously this didn't happen. It would have moved SO many more people.
        ckd33
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jcar302
        no, there really isn't any public transportation. the metro runs through PART of east LA, and the buses are totally inefficient. oh, and you'll prob be killed if you ride your bike (don't do it in LA!). you're pretty much screwed if you don't have a car because LA is just massive. although, they are building a train from downtown to the west side-culver city (which is HUGE!), but probably won't be finished for a few years.
      Bavarian818
      • 3 Years Ago
      The picture is not of the 405.... its the 134 in Burbank.... Thanks for the attention to detail AutoBlog.... BTW the closure of this primary North/South route through LA is going to back up ALL of the other freeways in Los Angeles that weekend! Angelinos, get Netflix and stay home!
        jmtaxter
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bavarian818
        Sorry, but it is the 405. That's the Santa Monica Blvd. offramp on the northbound 405 on the right, and that's the VA on the left. Oh, and that's the Getty Museum straight ahead! Nice try, though.
        Walt
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bavarian818
        Bavarian818, you need a new pair of glasses. That's the VA Hospital on the left, the exit is for Santa Monica Blvd. Show me where you find that on the 134. You owe AutoBlog an apoolgy.
        EnzoHonda
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bavarian818
        Bavarian818 must have come from McDonalds. Why? 'Cause he just got served.
        recharged95
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bavarian818
        Sign says 'the 2'.... the 134 doesn't cross it. Unless they updated the picture, looks like northbound after the 10.
        Awhattup
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bavarian818
        wrong! That's right outside of my house and the first exit sign you see is "Santa Monica BLVD" and next one is "Wilshire BLVD" ... and the big building you see ahead is the Greater LA VA Hospital. Get your detail right.
        Jeremy Ko
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bavarian818
        bavarian818 makes me think of my armenian friends screen names
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