Sunday, July 17, 2011

L.A. Residents Prepare for Carmageddon

CarmageddonCarmageddon. Not only does this refer to an old, crazy video game about blowing up cars and what not, it also refers to the term residents of Los Angeles are giving to the inevitable and epic traffic jam that is resulting from the closure of a 10-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway until this coming Monday morning. To top it all off, the part closed for construction is located between two of the country's busiest interchanges.

The 53-hour shutdown, which just may delay motorists that long in detours, is happening in order for construction crews to demolish a bridge as a part of a $1 billion freeway-widening project. In response to this shutdown and the inevitable problems it will cause, L.A. is opening its emergency operations center for the weekend.

It wouldn't be Hollywood if celebrities weren't involved, so a number of famous actors and actresses have been doing commercials and the like in order to warn motorists about the impending traffic jam with the simple message of "Stay Away!" This has inspired a plethora of leisure destinations outside of L.A. to offer special "Escape Carmageddon" discount packages. However, most people that live and work in and around the gridlock area have no choice but to buck up and hunker down for the weekend.

Other businesses are taking action as well. The UCLA Medical Center has secured 600 dorms and apartments as temporary residences for hospital staff so as to prevent doctors from getting stuck in the traffic during an emergency. According to the Posie Carpenter, Chief Administrative Officer for the UCLA Medical Center, "We see this as a big disaster -- only it's a planned disaster." Other businesses, like the Getty Center art museum, have said that they will be closed for the entire duration of Carmageddon.

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Source: Reuters - Los Angeles braces for weekend of "Carmageddon"

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