Making 'Carmageddon' a Weekend Habit

"Carmageddon" was a bust, yet for mass transit advocates it was an opportunity to build momentum toward a trend of more car-less days, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Though officials doubt they will abandon their cars after the weekends closure of the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass, the event showed people can at least live one weekend without one.

"On the southbound 5 Freeway in Santa Clarita, about 74,000 vehicles were recorded Saturday, compared with 84,000 the Saturday before. On the eastbound 101 Freeway in Sherman Oaks, the vehicle totals dropped from 75,000 to 55,000."

"The results have Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other politicians suggesting the city try to build on the momentum and encourage people to stick close to home and stay out of their cars more often."

"Added Denny Zane, executive director of Move LA, a nonprofit group that advocates public transit: 'It is Good Karmageddon.'"

Full Story: 'Carmageddon's' good karma

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Irvin Dawid's picture
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LA Times Editorial - We Must Push For Solutions

Carmageddon's lessons: "Governments can jack up the tax on gasoline and use the proceeds to pay for public-transit improvements. They can employ congestion pricing to make it expensive to drive solo during rush hour to employment hubs. They can close big arteries to cars and open them to bicycles, or turn them into dedicated bus lanes. They can make businesses stop offering free parking to their employees.

Will any of these ideas fly politically in car-crazy L.A.? Don't hold your breath. But if you won't approve any of the difficult things necessary to reduce traffic, or change your own behavior, you surrender the right to complain about it."

Well said - but wasn't Carmageddon itself - the reason for it, an abdication to supporting policies that do the exact opposite? People seem to forget that the reason for this 'learning experience' was to take down a bridge so as to widen a freeway!
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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