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I-405 locals prepare for Carmaggedon weekend

July 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Friday is Carmageddon day. Many fear the Interstate 405 Freeway closure through the Sepulveda Pass this weekend will create traffic gridlock if enough people don't stay off the roads. Those in neighborhoods closest to the shutdown are already making plans to stay put.

On a typical weekend day, they say half a million cars and trucks go by on the 405 Freeway. The fear is that when they shut the freeway down for construction, all that traffic will choke other freeways and roadways, especially in areas around the closure. So what do residents in those neighborhoods do? They say they're planning for a weekend away from their cars.

See a live cam shot of the Mulholland Bridge construction site.

Talk to people like Leroy Lewis of West Los Angeles and the so-called Carmageddon will be a walk in the park - literally.

"I'm just going to enjoy the weekend, mainly, that's what I'm going to do," said Lewis. "Stay at home and be with my children and come out to the park again."

He's not alone in the neighborhood surrounding the 405 closure, with area freeways expected to be virtual parking lots and service streets predicted to be in similar shape, residents are dreading this weekend.

In Brentwood, Matt Arrow says even without the 405 closure, traffic around this community is a mess.

"Sepulveda's just going to be jammed, Sunset's going to be jammed. These are all the major streets that I take living around here," said Arrow. "So I know that I'm not really going to be able to get to a lot of the places I normally go."

Don't expect to find any street parking on two major thoroughfares. No stopping/tow-away zones are in place on Ventura Boulevard's south side between Balboa Blvd. and Sherman Oaks Ave. And on the north side of Ventura between Noble Avenue and Sepulveda. Same goes on both sides Sepulveda from Greenleaf Street to Valley Vista Boulevard. No parking on the west side of Sepulveda from Valley Vista to the 405, as well as on the east side from Moraga Drive to Ovada Place.

"It's going to blow over," said Culver City resident Luis Campos. "People, I think, have gotten the word to avoid this area. But here in Southern California, people don't pay attention. And they'll overlook or they'll forget."

So come Carmageddon weekend and its 53-hour shutdown of the 405, many residents say they plan to make the best of the experience.

Brentwood resident Jolie Whitesell says it will be a weekend of quality time with family and friends.

"We're going to stay close to home and walk into the village and have dinner and hang out with some neighbors and have fun," said Whitesell.

Beat Carmageddon with ABC7

The 405 shuts down the weekend of July 16-17, and ABC7 Eyewitness News is your home for the latest traffic news and information. Follow @abc7 and @BeatCarmageddon on Twitter, and use the hash tag #abc7traffic.

ABC7 has also partnered with Waze to help navigate the traffic. Download the Waze app, which provides free turn-by-turn GPS navigation based on the live conditions of the road. Join the community of drivers in Southern California today and beat Carmageddon.

Check out the latest Carmageddon coverage from abc7.com


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