The 405 Freeway in western Los Angeles is set to be closed this weekend but it was met with little worries from workers and businesses in the area. They said that it wouldn’t be a problem as people will find a way to get around it.
Last year, city officials warned about the hyper-gridlock that didn’t happen. They repeated the warning this year as it urged people to stay away and shop locally. But San Fernando Valley and Westside merchants said that their customers are smarter this year.
The first Carmageddon occurred in July 2011. Businesses were prepared for a weekend without customers. Owners and their workers prepared themselves for a longer commute to go to work, which normally took 30 minutes.
But this year some merchants said that no panic was felt. They expect local customers to continue shopping and do other activities as they normally do. Businesses give out incentives to local residents to keep them from driving near the 405 Freeway.
Carmageddon II was the latest step of a $1 billion road improvement project. Half of the Mullholland Drive Bridge will be demolished to widen the 405 Freeway. A northbound carpool lane will also be added along the Sepulveda Pass.
This would be the second time in 14 months that the 10 mile part of the 405 Freeway will be closed. The Carmageddon last year was anticipated with hype but few businesses jumped onto it. People freaked out but traffic was not as heavy as expected.
Businesses didn’t plan anything special for the second temporary closure of the 405 Freeway. But there were fears that people would take the closure seriously this year and this would result into a major traffic problem.
Companies expect to have little less business but store owners and other businesses said that they would be business as usual. They said that it is hard to predict the thoughts of the consumers.