Motorists in the Los Angeles area are facing down what could be one of the worst traffic situations in California's already tangled history. Beginning on the evening of Friday, July 15, a 10-mile section of the 405 freeway will be closed so that construction crews can bring down part of the Mulholland Drive Bridge. That 10-mile section won't open to traffic again until sometime in the early hours of Monday, July 18. If you've ever driven in the area, you'll understand why SoCal residents are terrified and calling it "Carmageddon."

A few enterprising folks have decided to turn this traffic nightmare into a business opportunity. SiriusXM will launch a new channel appropriately titled Carmageddon Radio. Starting at 10am on July 15, satellite radio listeners can tuned in to channel 140 for updates and driving advice related to the 53-hour 405 freeway shutdown. SiriusXM will conclude its Carmageddon Radio programming on Monday July 18 at 5pm PST.

It's not just SiriusXM that's jumping into the Carmageddon pool, however, as a few others are toeing the traffic-related marketing line. Landmark Theatres is offering movie goers free popcorn at its two L.A. locations. Starting at 7pm on Friday, the free popcorn promotion will run throughout the weekend. Another enterprising entrepreneur is musician Ken Elkinson. Mr. Elkinson produces ambient instrumental music, which he says is wonderful backdrop to one's commute. In fact, his 60-track box set is titled Music for Commuting, and Ken Elkinson is giving an entire collection away starting Monday July 11. Music for Commuting is available as a free downloadable ZIP file at Ken's site until Monday, July 18.

There's no doubt that this is going to be a terrible weekend for Southern California. Those who've never experienced L.A.-area traffic simply won't understand. Stop-and-go frustration can strike at any hour of any day – and that's when the 405 is open for business. Still, it's good to see a few folks jumping in to try and offer some good.

Oh, if you were't already aware, the 405 will be shut down a second time later this year to bring down the other half of the Mulholland Drive Bridge. In other words, Carmageddon will strike twice – we can only hope the giveaways will return as well.

Have you heard about any other items or services being offered this weekend in response to the 405 closure? If so, let us know about them in the comments below.



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  • 47 Comments
      tritonstrategies
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am scheduling our weekend trip around this. Fortunately, I can avoid the entire closure. YOU ARE INSANE if you drive anywhere near there this weekend.
      Klinkster
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cry me a river! Highways shut down all the time all over North America for construction. The fact that they'll do this over a weekend with months of advance notice is just fear mongering to generate headlines. This will come and pass like Y2K and all other failed apocalyptic predictions. Smart people will stock up on BBQ food and stay near home that weekend. Smarter people will get outta dodge city well beforehand and take some well deserved days off. I presume SoCal people are smart???
      jwh9
      • 3 Years Ago
      If you can believe it, in the early 1900's there were parts of the Los Angeles area which had networks of 6ft elevated wooden pathways for bicyclists.. passing through Orange Groves. My modus operandi here is to always live near my jobs. I have suffered the fate of sig alerts and freeway closings.. and on those occasions, it is literally faster to walk to where you're going than make a go in a car.
      carfan
      • 3 Years Ago
      California is like a third world country...chaos, disrespect for the environment, no public transport, and primitive drivers...not to mention bankrupcty and out of control foreclosures. Anyone living there needs his head reexamined
        Junkyard Willie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @carfan
        Are you angry because all the hot chicks in your town left to come to sunny California? Women in West Los Angeles now out number men 1 1/2 to 1. I guest Californians disrespect for the environment is the reason why the south sells more gas guzzling pick up trucks these days.
          carfan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Junkyard Willie
          "Are you angry because all the hot chicks in your town left to come to sunny California?"...no because my town is not in mexico, columbia, honduras bolivia etc...I'm from Europe and my big advantage over you americans is that due to my profession and job I travel the world and see a lot...compared to the average american who sees the parking lot of a Walmart.
        Tolitz Rosel
        • 3 Years Ago
        @carfan
        ... the lack of education in that post is disturbing...
        Doug
        • 3 Years Ago
        @carfan
        Lived in Santa Monica for 5 years.... sounds about right... moved to Texas in fact :)
      brian
      • 3 Years Ago
      Have folks in LA forgotten that surface streets exist?
        Jake G
        • 3 Years Ago
        @brian
        Hahahah you must not be from here. The 405 closure is a bottleneck point between the city and valley, and causes backups on ALL surface streets even when it is running. The only other "surface street option" in the vicinity is Sepulveda, a two lane clogged artery.
          brian
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jake G
          Thanks for that - It's true I'm not from there... ...I'm from SF where the folks in the outer neighborhoods cried "We'll never be able to get home/to work without the Central Freeway!" but we tore it down anyway and folks move along just fine.
        Kitsune
        • 3 Years Ago
        @brian
        @Brian The surface streets will now be clogged with people who cannot use the 405. So, no. We haven't.
      mikemaj82
      • 3 Years Ago
      won't be anywhere nearly as bad as traffic in NJ....all the time!
        torqued
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mikemaj82
        Having driven in both places (I grew up in NJ), you couldn't be more wrong. NJ's got it's own issues, but LA traffic is far, far worse.
      Basil Exposition
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, LA sounds like a total clusterfuk!
        The Angry Intern
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Basil Exposition
        And that's just a normal day in LA.....this weekend will be a double clusterfuck
      hwbehrens
      • 3 Years Ago
      For those of you who haven't experienced LA's transporation infrastructure, let's do some math to grasp the scale of the closure. The average freeway lane can move about 1800 cars per hour (1 car every 2 seconds), if it's busy but not congested. I think that describes the 405 pretty much all the time, but for the sake of argument let's say it's half empty (900.hr) between 1:00AM and 6:00AM every day, and running at full capacity on normal weekends (on weekdays traffic would play a significant factor in this math). The section of freeway that's closed is 5 lanes on each side, so 10 lanes * 1800 = 18000 cars per hour. If the closure starts at midnight Friday, and lasts for 53 hours, that means that 14 hours of those 53 are in the "low traffic" range that we assumed. So (53-14)*18000 + 14*9000 = 828000 cars that need to be diverted. That's almost a million cars. If that number was residents instead of cars, it would be the 11th largest city in the US. Also, please note that those 828,000 cars are from all over LA County (9,818,605 people), not LA city (3,792,621 people), so that's actually only 8% of the population hopping in their cars, which I think is a reasonable number for a weekend.
      Critter
      • 3 Years Ago
      "There's no doubt that this is going to be a terrible weekend for Southern California." Really? Not one bit of doubt? Not even a shadow of one? Could it be that EVERYONE ON THE GOD DAMN PLANET knows about this by now and unless they have Alzheimer's they will STAY OFF the 405 and its alternates. BTW, if you have Alzheimer's... stay off the road, period.
      The Law
      • 3 Years Ago
      The South is the armpit of America.
        Junkyard Willie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @The Law
        People in the south hunt there own food at night like animals and rock hunting gear on a daily basis.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Mike M
      • 3 Years Ago
      http://executive-helishares.com/405/ You can fly over it.
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