Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for CityLab. He lives in Los Angeles.
Closing 10 miles of Los Angeles's busiest freeway for a second time was as uneventful as officials hoped.
Despite, or perhaps as a result of the widespread public outreach campaign focused on the potential traffic nightmare of this past weekend's so-called Carmageddon II, the 48-hour closure of a 10-mile section of Interstate 405 in Los Angeles caused no major disruptions. Overall, the closure of one of the busiest sections of freeway in the country had only a marginal impact on traffic in the car-centric capital of the U.S.
The closure was required to finish work demolishing an old bridge crossing over the 405, work that began with an earlier weekend closure, July 2011's Carmageddon. Like that initial closure, officials were pleased to see that the prospect of traffic and delays kept many Angelenos off the roads near the closure. Speaking at a press conference after the work was completed, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called the closure "a resounding success."
"People understood they needed to stay away from the area," Villaraigosa said. "They did what they needed to do to make sure it went as smoothly as it did."
However, unlike last year's closure, this year's was accompanied by another cross-town street closure for a triathlon. That event was far less intensive, but so was the campaign to publicize the resulting street closures, leading to some congestion on nearby roads.
But for one of the country's biggest cities to shut down a major artery in its inevitably important transportation network, L.A.'s Carmageddon II was, once again, hardly an issue at all.
Photo credit: Eric Thayer/Reuters