Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2011


It's no secret that Los Angeles, even on a light day, is a traffic nightmare. So when city officials announced that they were closing a 10-mile (16 km) section of the 405 freeway for 53 hours to replace the aging Mulholland Bridge, it was bound to be a news event. The stretch of road carries approximately half a million cars on a normal July weekend, and serves as a vital link between Ventura and Santa Monica, but some people couldn't help going indiscriminately crazy. The media predicted "carmageddon," "carpocalypse" and, in the least hyperbolic phrasing, "the mother of all traffic jams." JetBlue offered flights from Burbank to Long Beach — a distance of about 30 miles (48 km) — for $4 each way. In the end, the construction finished on time and Angelenos went back to doing what they always do: sitting in their cars in traffic, many wishing, perhaps, that the apocalypse would indeed come and destroy the cars blocking their way.