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.