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Carmageddon

Title: “Carmageddon” Cover For Future L.A. Earthquake Strike
Date: September 28, 2012
Source: Truther.org


Abstract: “Carmageddon” may in fact be the official game-plan for the dreaded California earthquake infamously known as “The Big One”. With Los Angeles freeways scheduled to be overflowing parking lots on Monday, October 1, 2012, it appears that a man-made disaster of Hollywood movie proportions involving millions of cars, freeways, bridges, explosives and demolitions may be planned.

“We see this as being a disaster – only it’s a planned disaster.” Posie Carpenter, Chief Administrative Officer of UCLA Medical Center

The term “Carmageddon” was originally derived from the unprecedented 53-hour shutdown of the I-405 freeway in Los Angeles, California, during the weekend of July 15, 2011. The first-ever complete closure of a southern California freeway was part of the Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project which was unparalleled and completely unnecessary. California has been a U.S. state since September 9, 1850, and until July of 2011, no such construction or traffic related closure had ever occurred.

Prior to closing the freeway, Los Angeles radio DJs and television reporters simultaneously began referring to the freeway closure as “Carmageddon”, parodying the death, destruction and mayhem synonymous with the word Armageddon. The on-air media personalities acted in concert by repeatedly parroting the term in an obvious propaganda campaign either ordered by or paid by Los Angeles County and its supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who is credited with publicly naming the “Carmageddon” event.

I. CARMAGEDDON

Unprecedented freeway closures, gridlock hype and the convenient use of explosives for “demolition” purposes may indicate that a Hollywood disaster movie may transpire in reality.

1.1: The “Carmageddon” Hype
The hyped-up fear surrounding “Carmageddon” is that a massive traffic backup could spread to connecting freeways subsequently gridlocking the entire Los Angeles highway system. “We wanted to get that image of what the stakes were by frankly alarming the public, getting the public’s attention, grabbing everybody by the lapels and saying, “This is a real project that is going to cause a real disaster if we aren’t prepared,” stated L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Helping spurn the original “Carmageddon” fear and propaganda was a number of different celebrities including newly cast “Two and a Half Men” star Ashton Kutcher and “CHiPs” actor Erik Estrada. The 2012 shutdown includes two of the nation’s busiest interchanges which carry about 500,000 vehicles on a typical summer weekend, said Marc Littman, a spokesman for Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), an agency handling the project.

1.2: “Carmageddon” 2012
Starting at 12:01 a.m. on September 29, 2012, and going through October 1, 2012, the second complete closure of the I-405 will take place. The freeway is scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. Monday, October 1st, just ahead of the morning rush hour. In 2011, “Carmageddon” finished 17 hours early but Dave Sotero, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, says not to expect that again because there’s more work this time. According to reports, “If the freeway doesn’t reopen on time, that’s when Carmageddon will really kick in.” While “they don’t expect that to happen”, officials “will be ready if it does.” “Everything that was a concern last year is still a concern this year…There may be some complacency that we are worried about. There may be a false sense of security…for drivers thinking it’s going to be a very light weekend,” stated Sotero. According to news reports, “Ground zero for the shutdown is the Sepulveda Pass, where I-405 flows northward past Westwood, Brentwood, Bel Air and other expensive canyon neighborhoods on the western side of Los Angeles”.

1.3: Explosives & Demolition
On July 14, 2011, it was reported that the unprecedented 2011 “Carmageddon” shutdown was in part due to construction crews demolishing the Mulholland Bridge as part of an alleged $1 billion freeway-widening project. On September 28, 2012, it was reported that the 2012 “Carmageddon” closure is in part due to the demolition of the Mulholland Bridge so that it can make way for its replacement. Although it’s impossible to know, the demolition of the same bridge two years running may be cover for the rigging of demolition explosives at different freeway overpasses and bridges throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Should an alleged earthquake occur, these explosives could destroy bridges and freeway overpasses in a matter of seconds leading people to believe that the earthquake was in fact responsible. Obviously, the demolition of L.A. freeways would cause an unprecedented amount of injuries, death, destruction and gridlock which would inevitably play out like a Hollywood disaster movie.

II. EARTHQUAKES

Recent earthquakes and unprecedented news in respect to earthquake related events indicate that massive and deadly earthquakes may be just around the corner. Numerous earthquake related incidents mysteriously occurring right before, during and after “Carmageddon” is not sheer coincidence and may in indicate foul play.

2.1: A 6.2 Earthquake Strikes Baja California
On September 26, 2012, just two days before “Carmageddon”, it was reported that a 6.2-magnitude earthquake shook the southern part of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. “We are calling on the public to remain calm in case there are aftershocks,” stated State Civil Defense Director Carlos Rincon, who also announced that there were no reports of damages or injuries. According to the report, the U.S. Geological Survey stated the earthquake occurred at about 4:45PM and was centered offshore in the Gulf of California. Twenty minutes later, a 4.6-magnitude aftershock occurred north of La Paz, as well as 4.8 temblor further out in the Gulf of California 12 minutes later. While there is no way to know for certain, the Baja California earthquake may be a sign that a California quake is on its way.

2.2: The Earthquake Show Trial
On September 27, 2012, just one days before “Carmageddon, it was reported that six Italian scientists and one government official could face prison terms for manslaughter for allegedly downplaying the risk of an upcoming earthquake. The earthquake in question occurred on April 6, 2009, when a 6.3 magnitude earthquake killed 309 residents in the town of L’Aquila, Italy. Although the trial began about a year ago, it is on hold until October 9, 2012, when the defense will present its closing arguments. In what appears to be an obvious show-trial with no real evidence, the international earthquake spectacle will begin playing itself out roughly a week after “Carmageddon”.

2.3: A 6.4 Earthquake Strikes Alaska
On September 28, 2012, just two days before “Carmageddon, it was reported that seismologists had recorded three earthquakes which struck 64 to 75 miles southwest of Adak, Alaska.  According to reports, the lights quakes occurred at 7:28 a.m. Thursday September 27, 2012, and 11:16 p.m. Wednesday September 26, 2012, but caused no damage. The Alaska Earthquake Information Center stated that the 4.5 and 4.3 magnitude quakes were aftershocks of the 6.4 earthquake that originally struck the area on September 26, 2012. That quake was felt in the communities of Adak and Atka, more than 1,000 miles from Anchorage.  While there is no way to know for certain, the Alaska earthquakes may be a sign of things to come.

2.4: Earthquake Science Suddenly Changed
On September 28, 2012, the first day of “Carmageddon” 2012, an article entitled, “Big Earthquakes Can Trigger Temblors Across Globe” was published in the San Diego Union Tribune. This shocking report essentially states that earthquake behavior has radically changed and that large earthquakes in one part of the globe can now trigger even larger secondary earthquakes elsewhere. This new theory goes against everything known about earthquakes, but provides cover for man-made, HAARP or explosive generated earthquakes. “If you asked any of us if this event is possible a year ago, we would have laughed at you,” said Thomas Heaton, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology. “This was a really surprising finding,” said Fred Pollitz, a seismologist with the USGS and lead author of the paper. Although the behavior of the earth and earthquake science has allegedly changed, the plan to terrorize humanity under the cover of a natural disaster has not and should this man-made earthquake operation go forward, expect a series of devastating and escalating earthquakes from California to Japan and beyond

2.5: Earthquake Drill: The Great California ShakeOut!
Roughly three weeks after “Carmageddon” concludes, the annual Drop, Cover, and Hold On earthquake drill entitled the “Great California ShakeOut!” will kick-off on October 18, 2012. According to the official website, “more than 12.5 million people were registered in ShakeOut drills worldwide” and that “participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes.” Due to the hundreds if not thousands of earthquake drills which will occur worldwide on October 18, 2012, tens of millions of people will be consciously and subconsciously programmed for a future earthquake. Should a massive “earthquake” just happen to occur during “Carmageddon”, the international earthquake drills will induce unprecedented anxiety and fear while the terrorizing psychological effects of the drill will increase exponentially.

2.6: HAARP & Earthquakes
According to Wikipedia, “the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the University of Alaska, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).” What Wikipedia fails to mention is that HAARP, as documented in this video, can be used as a weapon to guide weather systems and cause earthquakes. What role if any HAARP will play in a “Carmageddon” tyoe scenario is unknown, but the capability to cause widespread destruction and mayhemvia earthquakes is always at the disposal of the U.S. government.

2.7: Explosives & Earthquakes
While HAARP is credited by many Japanese citizens and well conspiracy theorists for causing the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, it is more likely that an underwater nuclear weapon or military grade explosive was used to lift up the sea just off the Japanese coast which subsequently caused unprecedented destruction and death. Whether or not HAARP or underground explosives will be used to create “The Big One” earthquake in Southern California is unknown, but all the ingredients needed for a massive earthquake disaster are already present.

III. L.A. EMERGENCY PREPARATIONS

With “Carmageddon” and numerous earthquake related events occurring simultaneously, the city of Los Angeles, California, appears to be readying itself for impending death and destruction. With a new police center, a fully staffed UCLA medical center and a new Office of Emergency Management via the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the city of Los Angeles is fully prepared to handle any upcoming man-made or natural disaster.

3.1: New LAPD Riot Center
On February 8, 2012, it was reported that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) opened a new high-tech war room which “gives it eyes all over the city”. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck stated that “We are targets on our own soil…We have to be ready.” Located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, the new intelligence hub is interestingly called RACR. Should a massive and deadly man-made earthquake strike Los Angeles, there will likely be riots (possibly race riots), looting and mayhem which LAPD appears to be anticipating.

3.2: UCLA Medical Center Ready
On July 14, 2011, it was reported that the UCLA Medical Center had secured 600 dorms and apartments as temporary quarters for hospital staff as part of an emergency plan to prevent doctors and nurses from getting stuck in “Carmageddon” traffic. Then on September 23, 2012, it was reported that Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, just outside the “Carmageddon Zone”, planned to house as many as 300 doctors, nurses and other staff members in dorms at nearby hotels so nobody will have trouble getting to work. “Everybody, including myself, will be here to man the entire event, just to make sure everything goes safely for our patients and staff,” stated Shannon O’Kelley, UCLA’s Chief Operations Officer. Whether or not UCLA truly cares about their doctors and nurses getting to work on time is secondary, for the hospital will be fully staffed to handle massive amounts of trauma victims should a man-made earthquake or a “natural disaster” just happen to occur.

3.3: New “Office of Emergency Management”
On September 23, 2012, it was reported that a new emergency operations center opened in Santa Monica, California, during August of 2012. According to the report, Santa Monica’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is where every major transit, law enforcement and emergency services agency has been cooperating in making “Carmageddon” contingency plans. According to their mission, “The Office of Emergency Management will exist to protect the community of Santa Monica from the loss of life and property in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. One of their stated objectives is to “implement a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program, which will provide people who live and work in Santa Monica with the skills and tools to respond to emergencies.” It’s still too early to tell if “Carmageddon” was the underlying motive behind Santa Monica’s new OEM, but it obviously opened for a reason.

CONCLUSION

The U.S. economy is at an all-time low and dissent for U.S. President Barack Obama and the U.S. government is at an all-time high. According to a Financial Times article, Obama’s has a “growing credibility crisis” and there are fears that the Democrats could lose the White House and the Senate to the Republicans.

White House advisor Robert Shapiro made it crystal clear that Obama is relying on a terror attack to rescue his presidency: “The bottom line here is that Americans don’t believe in President Obama’s leadership,” said Shapiro, “He has to find some way between now and November of demonstrating that he is a leader who can command confidence and, short of a 9/11 event or an Oklahoma City bombing, I can’t think of how he could do that.”

An unprecedented “natural disaster” earthquake type terror event in Los Angeles would give Obama the national tragedy that to date he has been unable to pull off. On February 6, 2011, the Obama administration was caught red-handed attempting to conduct a nuclear terror attack on Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, Texas. Then on September of 2012, the Obama administration was again caught red-handed trying to stage a 9/11 style terror attack on the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Unlike a terror attack, a “natural disaster” is a safer way for Obama and his administration to play savior in the aftermath of a national tragedy.

Desperate people do desperate things and staging the “The Big One” earthquake scenario would give Obama the platform he desperately needs and would play nicely into the whole 2012 Doomsday scenario. Under the cover of a “natural disaster”, the Obama administration could conduct dirty deeds while remaining relatively suspicion free. Post-earthquake, Obama’s poll numbers would rise and law and order in Los Angeles may break down eventually leading martial law (Truther.org, 2012).


CARMAGEDDON NEWS & PROPAGANDA

Title:
Los Angeles Braces For Weekend Of "Carmageddon"
Date:
July 14, 2011
Source:
Reuters

Abstract: A city renowned for its traffic is about to face a jam of biblical proportions.

"Carmageddon" is the name Los Angeles residents are giving the inevitable and likely epic traffic tie-up that will result when a 10-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway is closed for construction from Friday night to Monday morning between two of the nation's busiest interchanges.

The unprecedented 53-hour shutdown, expected to delay motorists for hours on alternate routes with ripple effects on about a dozen other major highways, will allow crews to demolish a bridge as part of a $1 billion freeway-widening project.

In a sign that few motorists in America's second-largest city take a breezy attitude toward the closure, Los Angeles plans to open its emergency operations center over the weekend.

This being Hollywood, officials have recruited a gaggle of celebrities to warn motorists of the impending gridlock, including newly cast "Two and a Half Men" star Ashton Kutcher and "CHiPs" actor Erik Estrada. The main message: Stay away!

That message has inspired a number of leisure destinations outside Los Angeles to offer special "Escape Carmageddon" discount packages, from a Mammoth Mountain hotel in the Eastern Sierras to a hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

But most people who live and work in and around the gridlock zone have no choice but to hunker down for the weekend.

The UCLA Medical Center on the city's upscale westside has secured 600 dorms and apartments as temporary quarters for hospital staff as part of an emergency plan to prevent doctors and nurses from getting stuck in traffic.

"We see this as being a disaster -- only it's a planned disaster," said Posie Carpenter, the medical center's chief administrative officer.

The Getty Center, a popular art museum nestled in the hills above the 405 Freeway, has said it will be closed to visitors this weekend because of the construction project.

Booking a Hotel
Lisa McGuinness is going to stay in a hotel for three nights near the deli she owns near the north end of the shutdown, rather than risk stewing in traffic for hours with a commute from her home 30 miles away in Los Angeles' South Bay community of Torrance.

"The freeway stresses me out every day," she said. "With this, I'm just thinking we just have to stay out of it. I just can't even imagine what the streets are going to be like."

In an "Over-the-405" promotion launched on Wednesday by JetBlue Airways, the discount airline offered special nonstop flights between Long Beach and Burbank for Saturday priced at just $4 each way, taxes and fees included.

The 600 seats available on the four flights -- two each going in either direction -- sold out within three hours, the airline said.

Charter helicopter companies are selling air "taxi" service to Los Angeles International Airport for well-heeled L.A. travelers fearful of missing pre-booked airline flights to more distant destinations.

For those seeking a more casual bird's eye view of the traffic carnage, and the dose of schadenfreude that goes with it, Adventure Helicopter Tours is offering 45-minute flights over the area, complete with champagne, for $400 per couple.

The stretch of the 405 Freeway that will be closed, known locally as the Sepulveda Pass, is traversed by about 500,000 vehicles on a typical summer weekend, said Marc Littman, a spokesman for Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), an agency handling the project.

The canyon pass is a traffic choke point even without a construction project, as it serves as a north-south gateway from the city's sizzling hot San Fernando Valley to several beaches and the more temperate westside.

The 405, a U.S. interstate route that runs from Irvine, California, north to the Mission Hills district of Los Angeles, is perhaps best known outside L.A. for the widely televised low-speed police chase of O.J. Simpson, then suspected in the murder of his ex-wife, in June 1994.

One thing is for sure, Carmageddon has Angelenos talking.

In a YouTube parody video using footage from the 2004 movie "Downfall" and viewed over 50,000 times, an actor playing Adolf Hitler rails furiously against the freeway closure, in English subtitles: "I'll be lucky to get out of my driveway."

Estrada, who played a California Highway Patrol officer Frank "Ponch" Poncherello, who sped through freeways on a motorbike, is also on YouTube talking about shutdown.

He appears in an MTA public service announcement, and this time Estrada -- who is a reserve deputy sheriff in real life -- is letting motorists off with a warning.

"People are going to take heed, and they're going to stay away," Estrada said in a telephone interview. "I'm going to stay away" (Reuters, 2012).

Title: LA Preps For Freeway Closure And 'Carmageddon II'
Date: September 23, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract:  "Carmageddon II" -- the sequel -- is coming to one of the nation's most crowded freeways, and authorities are hoping its subtitle won't be "The Traffic Strikes Back."

Transportation officials say what they would like to see during the last weekend of September is a rerun of last year's two-day closure, when hundreds of thousands of motorists dodged doomsday predictions by staying away until the busy, 10-mile stretch of Interstate 405 reopened. It was one of the lightest freeway traffic weekends anyone in Los Angeles could remember.

Hopes are high that next weekend will have the same happy result, as businesses and residents prepare to avoid the roadway that must close again so work can be completed on a bridge.

At Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, just outside the Carmageddon Zone, officials plan to house as many as 300 doctors, nurses and other staff members in dorms at nearby hotels so nobody will have trouble getting to work.

Some patients, including women in the latter stages of complicated pregnancies, are being encouraged to check in before the freeway closes at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 29.

"Everybody, including myself, will be here to man the entire event, just to make sure everything goes safely for our patients and staff," says Shannon O'Kelley, the hospital's chief operations officer.

A group of art enthusiasts, meanwhile, formed "Artmageddon," featuring activities at dozens of museums and art-house theaters and listing them on the website artmageddonla.com. People are encouraged to walk or bike.

The UCLA campus, with about 41,000 students, has emergency traffic diversion plans in place. In Santa Monica, just down the road, a new emergency operations center opened last month. Authorities say every major transit, law enforcement and emergency services agency in the area has been cooperating in making contingency plans.

In the meantime, just what should people do over the weekend when they will hopefully be too afraid to pull out of their driveways?

"Eat, Shop and Play Locally," advises the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, reciting its official Carmageddon II slogan.

The agency is partnering with hundreds of restaurants, tourists attractions and other venues to offer discounts to people who can show they used mass transit to get there.

If thousands of people hadn't stayed home on a mid-July weekend last year, authorities say they might have caused a traffic backup so massive it could have spread to connecting freeways, gridlocking the entire city highway system. The result, "Carmageddon," would have been miles and miles of idling cars filled with thousands and thousands of angry people.

"The risk factors are exactly the same as they were last year, so nothing has changed in terms of the heartburn that traffic agency people are feeling right now," says Dave Sotero, a spokesman for the transportation authority.

It's not just any freeway being shut down, but one that even on weekends, when traffic is relatively light, can carry a half-million vehicles. It's also the one that links the city's San Fernando Valley, where 1.7 million people live, to its dense, urbanized West Side and its beaches.

As they did for the first Carmageddon, officials have been posting flashing freeway signs for weeks warning people all over the state to stay away. On Labor Day weekend, people driving in and out of the desert resort of Palm Springs, 100 miles to the east, began seeing the signs.

"We wanted to get that image of what the stakes were by frankly alarming the public, getting the public's attention, grabbing everybody by the lapels and saying, `This is a real project that is going to cause a real disaster if we aren't prepared,"' says veteran Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who is credited with publicly uttering the term Carmageddon.

Although Yaroslavsky says he first heard the word from an aide, he jokes that it will be cited at the top of his obituary as one his greatest achievements.

The freeway is scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 1, just ahead of the morning rush hour.

Last year it opened 17 hours early, but Sotero says not to expect that again because there's more work this time.

When all the work in the area is completed toward the end of next year, there will be a new, wider and seismically safer bridge crossing the freeway at the city's scenic Mulholland Drive.

The 405 itself will also be wider, making room for a carpool lane through the Sepulveda Pass over the Santa Monica Mountains, where traffic notoriously clogs almost all the time.

If the freeway doesn't reopen on time, that's when Carmageddon will really kick in.

While they insist they don't expect that to happen, officials say they will be ready if it does (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Don't Tempt Carmageddonm
Date: September 27, 2012
Source:
LA Times

Abstract: Carmageddon, the sequel, comes to Los Angeles this weekend, when the 405 Freeway will be closed in both directions between the 10 and 101 freeways from midnight Saturday until 5 a.m. Monday.

Last year's closure of the 10 miles of freeway — to demolish half of the Mulholland Bridge as part of the project to widen the 405 — went spectacularly well because people took the warnings to stay off the roads seriously. This weekend — as workers demolish the other half of the bridge — it may be tempting to calculate, "I can drive, because no one else will be driving." Don't. The price for your folly just might be a giant traffic jam in the Sepulveda Pass or on other north-south corridors. It's not the worst fate that could befall Los Angeles residents, but unlike so many other things we must cope with — earthquakes, fires, car chases — it can be avoided.

And there are more unpredictable circumstances in play this time. Churches and cultural centers that canceled events last year aren't doing so this year. Astonishingly, the HerbalifeTriathlon is scheduled for Sunday, featuring more than 2,000 participants swimming in the ocean off Venice, bicycling across the city and running into downtown, and some surface streets will be closed to accommodate them. (Apparently the date was set long before Carm II was announced.)

So leave the roads for the people who really need them: workers who must get to jobs, first responders who must get to emergencies, and all those triathletes. Instead, spend a rare weekend out of your car and in your neighborhood. TheMetropolitan Transportation Authority has an online interactive map dubbed "Eat, Shop, and Play Locally" that features discounts for the weekend at almost 300 restaurants, stores, museums and other attractions.

And don't prank the empty freeway. It's been done; no one is going to do it better than the folks who did it last year; and California Highway Patrol officers will be out in force to stop you from trying (LA Times, 2012).

Title: Los Angeles Braces For Carmageddon II
Date: September 28, 2012
Source:
USA Today

Abstract: When the dense westside traffic ground to a halt for a construction project one weekend last year, Mabel Escoton saw only two customers enter her pet shop. When the traffic shuts down for a repeat this Saturday, she's throwing in the dog towel and closing her doors.

"We're thinking it's going to be very bad,'' says the owner of Mabel's Dog Grooming on Sepulveda Avenue near affluent Bel Air. "We're going to close the store because there will be no way to get in.''

Los Angeles is preparing for the sequel to its "Carmageddon" weekend of July 2011, when a planned construction shutdown of a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 405 on the city's west side, one of the nation's busiest freeways, sparked fears of a traffic meltdown spreading from that chokepoint across the region.

Taking heed of the dire warnings of city leaders then, the public responded by staying home, producing Southern California's easiest driving weekend in memory, with none of the tie-ups on alternate routes that had been feared. But it was an economic disaster for businesses such as Escoton's and thousands of others along or near the affected route who saw their usual weekend clientele vanish.

This time the city has toned down the rhetoric, reducing the fear level but still urging people not to be lulled into complacency. They suggest shopping and exploring closer to home this weekend.

"Obviously the city has softened its stance,'' says Jim Bak, community relations director at INRIX, which provides traffic forecasting and analysis for governments and business nationally. "It's not such a doom-and-gloom car Apocalypse. ... Businesses were hurt by this. People stayed away all weekend and almost became shut-ins.''

Ground zero for the shutdown is the Sepulveda Pass, where I-405 flows northward past Westwood, Brentwood, Bel Air and other expensive canyon neighborhoods on the western side of Los Angeles, past the Getty Center hilltop museum and back down to the San Fernando Valley. The shutdown stretches along I-405 from its intersection with I-10 to U.S. 101.

It is being closed for the second phase of a project replacing a bridge overpass that crosses the freeway. Crews working around the clock knocked down one side of the bridge in July 2010; this weekend the freeway is shutting down in both directions so that the rest of the bridge can be demolished to make way for its replacement.

The bridge work is part of a larger project widening and improving access to the freeway, including completing car pool lanes that will reach from the San Fernando Valley southward into Orange County.

Dave Sotero, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, says the message being spread by electronic billboards and other means is: Stay off the roads and eat, shop or play locally.

"We really do need the public to stay off the roadways in the area and the freeways,'' Sotero says. "Everything that was a concern last year is still a concern this year. ... There may be some complacency that we are worried about.''

The shutdown will begin with ramp closings at 7 p.m. Friday, followed by lane closings and a full shutdown at midnight. It is scheduled to reopen for rush hour Monday.

Encouraged by incentive pay, construction crews reopened the freeway 17 hours ahead of schedule last year. But Sotero says an early finish is unlikely this year â?? there's more work to be done and no bonuses for an early finish.

The biggest concern, he says, is that people will venture out onto the highways anyway, even though there is no easy alternative route. Streets through the canyons aren't able to handle much traffic, and I-405 normally sees 250,000 vehicles every day through that section. The only freeway route around the 405 chokepoint requires passage through the city's downtown to the east.

"There may be a false sense of security ... for drivers thinking it's going to be a very light weekend,'' he said.

Bak says there are other reasons to worry: Last time, the shutdown was in July, when traffic is light because of vacations and school closings. This weekend, there will be normally heavier traffic and some events, such as a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game, that will increase traffic.

He says Southern California motorists should check online traffic monitors (such as Google maps with traffic or sigalert.com) or smartphone apps, such as a free one his company offers before heading out this weekend (USA Today, 2012).

Title: Carmageddon Is An Opportunity For Disaster Preparedness
Date: September 29, 2012
Source:
UCLA Today

Abstract: Do we want to be prepared for an earthquake in Los Angeles? Then Carmageddon is a blessing in disguise.

We've been told to park our cars and get to know our neighborhoods again (or for the first time), mainly to minimize local driving volumes. But by getting to know our neighbors, Angelenos can make their families and communities better able to prepare, respond and recover from a major earthquake.

The reason is simple. If we think about preparing for the Big One, then we know that we won't and can't do it alone. We will need our neighbors as never before to respond and recover. Calling 911 will be useless, and not just because our phones won't work. A disaster by definition means that fire, police and ambulance services will be so overwhelmed with major traumas, safety and security issues that they can't help all of us. Because they won't be immediately available, each of us becomes an emergency responder dealing with fire, medical and security issues in our neighborhood.

The history of disasters shows that in the days and weeks afterward, we will share supplies, skills, and information with our neighbors to keep us healthy, safe and get the help we need. We will share our water, food and blankets. Neighbors working with neighbors will save lives, maintain each other’s psychological health, and hasten the economic recovery.

This is where Carmageddon comes in. Public health departments and emergency agencies across the country are promoting "know your neighbor" and "map your neighborhood" campaigns for making us more resilient against disasters. Get to know your neighbors during Carmageddon and, along the way, ask a few simple questions so we can all be better prepared. Who has the first-aid training to care for the injured? Who has fire extinguishers? Who has experience watching over children or caring for elders so that others can go line up for relief services?

There are many ways to take advantage of Carmageddon to get to know your neighbors. Count Supervisor Zev Yaroslavky's website has "53 Ways to Survive Without the 405" that includes 10 ways to use the weekend as an opportunity to connect with our neighbors (e.g., "have a block party," "check in on an elderly neighbor"). Also, hundreds of local activities will be held that weekend that will bring people together. The website www.car-mageddon.com is listing parties at our local mini-malls and restaurants: Shelter-in-Place meets Socialize-in-Place. All these establishments will celebrate their hyper-localism and dependency on each other, their new sense of community, and the neighbors they will be meeting for the first time. How much you want to bet that the Los Angeles Times will report on that communal feeling as one of the weekend's outcomes?

So get to know your neighbors and talk about how you can help each other in a disaster. Ask about who among them is a nurse or has first aid training, who is a school teacher who could watch over the kids, and who has a disability that will require special attention after the disaster. There are even step-by-step programs for mapping your neighborhood. And, rather than being cynical and saying that the predictions of mayhem are over-blown and that the mini-malls, restaurants and websites are only trying to reduce lost business, use Carmageddon as an opportunity. It is a huge, predictable opportunity to build more disaster-resilient communities, all under the lovely, July skies (UCLA Today, 2012).