First there was “Carmageddon.” Then, in true Hollywood fashion, came the sequel — “Jamzilla.” But this weekend, Los Angeles could endure its biggest traffic nightmare yet: “Century Crunch.”
Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick were right on: LA is indeed a great big freeway. One of “Saturday Night Live’s” funniest sketches pokes endless fun at how Angelenos jabber about driving.
Carmageddon and Jamzilla both happened because a major route — the 405 freeway connecting LA’s Westside to the San Fernando Valley, a section called the Sepulveda Pass — is being repaired and upgraded.
Century Crush is a bit different. A bridge is being demolished so that the Metro, LA’s version of New York’s subway, can get a new station near Los Angeles International Airport. A good thing on balance, but the work is expected to create a traffic mega-snarl for the more than 90,000 drivers who use Century Blvd. to access LAX each day, according to the LA Times.
Although maybe it won’t be that bad. Authorities have figured out that if they give these traffic events scary names, its can have the psychological effect of keeping people off the road. The traffic apocalypse that Carmageddon forewarned never came to pass. Jamzilla was no big deal. But maybe Century Crunch will change all that. We’ll see.
For now, LA’s real traffic nightmares tend to be caused by President Obama’s fundraising visits (he just wrapped one up yesterday). Why? Because instead of freeway sections bearing the brunt, every surface street between Beverly Hills and Downtown can be affected.
It can get incredibly gnarly. NBC’s local news outlet reported that Obama’s motorcade stranded a pregnant woman, possibly in labour, on one side of a closed-off street.
The scary names are all well and good for Carmageddon’s sequels. But if LA’s traffic overlords want the citizenry to avoid driving, they need to invite the Commander in Chief back more often.
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