Los Angeles Carmageddon Not As Bad As Expected

“Carmageddon” is the name Los Angeles residents are gave to what they figured would be a traffic jam for the ages due to a construction closure of a very busy 10-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway from Friday night to Monday.

As a bridge was demolished as part of a $1 billion freeway-widening project, motorists expect hours of delays and ripple effects on about a dozen other highways.

Celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher and Erik Estrada were recruited to help spread the message. For one weekend at least, please stay off the roadways in question if at all possible.

The weekend has come and gone. Everyone has had a chance to reflect and most are coming to the same conclusion–this was an incredibly successful operation. Nothing close to the dire predictions came to fruition.

Streets and freeways were generally clear. California Department of Transportation statistics show significantly fewer cars on some freeways and significantly less traffic in general, even in areas far from the 405.

Now some mass-transportation advocates are using this as an example to show that with some eduction, cooperation and small sacrifices we can really reduce the number of vehicles on the road, number of accidents, hours lost to traffic, vehicular emissions, etc.

Others argue that it’s one thing to ask people to make a small sacrifice in one are over one short, finite time period. It’s a whole other thing to get people to make the kind of permanent sacrifices necessary to drive less and carpool/use public transportation more.

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