Surviving Carmageddon Part II – 2012
LOS ANGELES | LIFESTYLE
~ BY MONICA HUNT
Last year for the original Carmageddon, plans were being made to stay indoors like recluses (or people who live in states with inclement weather) or, gasp, use public transportation to get around town…
A year has passed since the city of Los Angeles took a collective, citywide crap in the pants when CalTrans shut down a large swath of one of the town’s biggest arteries, the 405 freeway, in order to safely demolish part of the Mulholland Bridge.
People were frenzied. Internet memes popped up everywhere, canonizing this cataclysmic event with a dubbed scene from Downfall entitled, “Hitler Rants About Carmageddon.” Plans were being made to stay indoors like recluses (or people who live in states with inclement weather) or, gasp, use public transportation to get around town. Local radio stations could not let the topic rest — Carmaggedon was trending like a mofo. The impending doom of Los Angeles was on the lips of everyone. People were freaking out about pulling out of their driveway and rear-ending a clogged neighborhood block. That situation never materialized. In fact, it was a pretty calm weekend in the south land with very few people on the roads and air quality better than usual.
Well, a year has passed since this anti-climactic event took place and CalTrans is shutting the old girl down again for another weekend. Since last year’s media storm building up the closure was obnoxious and the consequent “meh” exhaled by Angelenos showed how much we didn’t care, Carmageddon became one of biggest womp-womp moments of 2011. So naturally, people are going to be ballsy this time around.
In order to save yourself from any traffic-related headaches, here are some suggestions to help you survive Carmageddon part deux should you find yourself unprepared.
1. Stay In Your ‘Hood
Angelenos are constantly on the move. We have cars to help us travel to distant neighborhoods, but rarely do we ever explore the neighborhoods in which we live. Even if you think you live in a grimy part of Los Angeles that isn’t as pretty as say, Santa Monica, don’t let that stop you from taking a stroll in the area you live in. You might be surprised to find a hidden gem like a tasty taco stand, coffee shop, or dive bar you can call your local spot.
2. Use the Metro/Your Bike
Yes, the Los Angeles Metro isn’t as sophisticated as the New York subway, but it is the medium whereby thousands of people get to-and-from work and home again every day. The Metro even has a new stop in Culver City that connects to the USC area of south LA. It’s easier to travel by bus or train now than it was even a few years ago. Get a group of friends together if youmust travel outside your comfort zone and take public transportation together. You could bond, maybe. Same goes for the bicycle.
3. Get Waze, The Best Navigation App Ever
Driving in Los Angeles can be a daunting task, freeway closure or no freeway closure. That’s why you should immediately download Waze, the best navigation/traffic app out there. Not only can you see which freeways and surface streets are a clusterf*ck, but you can get alternate, traffic-free routes to your destination on the fly. Users provide tips to other users, detailing when accidents happen, where they happen, and what you should avoid. You also get turn-by-turn navigation, meaning you won’t have to glance down at your phone every few minutes.
4. Kick It At Home
No one just hangs out at home anymore. Whatever happened to entertaining guests and friends every now and then? Have we forgotten that getting tanked in bars with our friends isn’t the pinnacle of your relationship with them. For once in your life, have a night in with your circle of cronies where you drink cheap wine and play Apples to Apples.
5. Plan Ahead, Like Now
Need to pick up some dry cleaning across town? Scheduled a massage on the west side? Get your errands done early or you’ll be regretting it in the end. Today is probably the last day you can get from the Valley to El Segundo, Hollywood to Santa Monica, or Playa Del Rey to Brentwood without hinderance, so plan accordingly.
6. Don’t Get Ballsy
Don’t try to have a picnic on the 405 — LAPD is serious about arresting people for this act of cuteness and the arresting officer will also tag on a ‘resisting arrest’ charge when you do get caught. Also, attempting to jump on the freeway 15 minutes before it closes may have been a breeze last year, just don’t expect to be the only one to have figured out that trick this time around.