Today in the 405 shutdown countdown


This is one of my favorite L.A. freeway photos. That's Marilyn Jorgensen Reece in the white coat in 1964, at the interchange of the 405 and the 10 that she designed. Her name is on the interchange, which observers through the years have called graceful and and even beautiful. She was the state's first female civil engineer; with her is Carol Schumaker, another of the earliest female freeway engineers for Caltrans, then called the state Division of Highways. The photo, originally from the April 6, 1964 L.A. Times, is now in the UCLA Library Digital Collections. Click the image to see it bigger.

  • I hate to say it, but traffic across the Westside was unusually bad late into the evening yesterday. Radio reporters were speculating that there was a lot of extra driving by people geting their business done before the weekend. In any case, the streets were oddly intense in Westwood at lunch today too. So stay tuned.
  • Officials figure most Westsiders have gotten the message to adjust, but they're worried about the clueless in town, on the Eastside, in the Valley, and in Orange County who would be the big problem if they just hit the streets and freeways as usual. So the education campaign continues.
  • Metro's countdown web widget will switch over to showing live cam shots of the 405 demolition work, says The Source.
  • Here's a new message from Mayor Villaraigosa urging you to heed the warnings.
  • Jon Wiener of The Nation writes, "In my experience of thirty years of commuting on the 405 between West LA and Irvine, fifty-five miles each way, only one thing has significantly reduced traffic: the closing of the aerospace industry following its peak in 1987."
  • Taiwanese animators have their fun with at the 405 closure and L.A.
  • USC professor and blogger Clifford V. Johnson, a transit user and biker, writes that he hopes Carmageddon becomes a transit learning experience for the city. Unfortunately, buses will have no advantage if traffic jams develop over the weekend.

Previous 405 coverage

Countdown-to-Carmageddon-cr.jpgAlso: The KCET special I narrate airs again tonight at midnight and Friday at 9:30 p.m. I'm told that last night's debut on KCET was the station's top-rated show for the night. The 30-minute report shows why the effects of closing this particular freeway stretch are regional, but that Angelenos across the city could end up paying the highest price. We also explore how L.A. has higher population density than New York City and drives less than the typical metro area, with per-capita transit use comparable to Seattle. Watch the show on YouTube.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Power out Monday across Malibu
Put Jamal Khashoggi Square outside the Saudi consulate on Sawtelle
Here's who the LA Times has newly hired*
LA Observed Notes: Clippers hire big-time writer, unfunny Emmys, editor memo at the Times and more
Recent 405 stories on LA Observed:
Metro's 405 contractor sues the agency over delays
Westside's long 405 construction nightmare all but over (photos)
This will be a bad traffic weekend around Sepulveda Pass
LAPD officer saves lucky Christmas drunk from burning car on 405
'Carmageddon' bridge over 405 opens
Final Wilshire@405 fly-over ramp to open Thursday
First flyover ramp opens at Wilshire and the 405
Soon as the 405 is done, more work planned for Wilshire


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