Carmageddon's big threat (unrealized in the end) was to areas some distance from the Westside stretch of the I-405 freeway that was to shut down for a weekend. When the on- and off-ramps at Wilshire Boulevard start to close this fall, the traffic impact will be intensely local — and last for months. "The feeling is that this could be much worse," says Steve Resnick, president of the Westwood Homeowners Association.
I can see that. Wilshire and Westwood, less than a half mile from the freeway, is the city's busiest intersection. Even now during the afternoon peaks, cars on Wilshire (and Metro's rapid in name only Rapid Bus) back up for miles on the Santa Monica side of the freeway to get past the overcrowded ramps. Traffic sometimes churns back into Westwood Village and on cut-through streets like Veteran and Ohio avenues. Now add in that two ramps at a time will close completely for 90 days.
As I said in May, the end result — properly designed ramps that eliminate the competition between cars on the freeway and on the streets — should ease a lot of Westside congestion. See the graphic above. In the meantime, UCLA and others are planning for a rough several months. More at ZevWeb.