LA Was Saved from Carmegeddon….by the Media

They call it Carmegeddon Hype. The endless stories of gridlock to come, of people dying because doctors couldn’t get to hospitals, the firemen caught in traffic. All because a 10 mile stretch of the 405 freeways was closing for a couple of days this weekend. Sigh.  It is so good to be right, even if its not very often.  I predicted earlier this week that this would be a nonevent event.

Of course there was no end of the world. I was out yesterday and the biggest problem was keeping your speed under the limit so one of the gazillion cops out wouldn’t give you a ticket. There was no traffic, anywhere. None on the freeway (like 3 AM), none on the surface streets, none on the canyon “alternate routes” to the valley. None, nada, zero, zip. They had traffic officers (parking enforcement actually) on every major intersection to “deal” with the mess.  Their biggest issue was who was going to doughnuts. I understand the powers that be sent most of them home early.

The media is taking credit, because, they say, if they hadn’t over hyped the event, people would not have stayed home and, well….. you get the rest of the story.

Of course there is something to that. I’m sure a lot of people stayed home fearing the worst. But a lot of people stayed home because they were smart enough to know that the potential for a problem was there and why push your luck. I had to go out because I’m a news guy and also had to attend a wedding on the other side of town. The church was full an hour before the ceremony because everyone left very early so they would make it.

Oh, the construction that closed the freeway was finished 15 hours ahead of schedule and the 405 opened at noon on Sunday, rather than 6 Am Monday. All is right with the world.

You heard it first here.

JVH

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One Response to LA Was Saved from Carmegeddon….by the Media

  1. Keith says:

    Can you say “slow news day”? For LA, it’s a big deal (well, perhaps not so big, as you say). For the rest of us, nada.

    In our fair city, a major interstate highway bridge is closing over several weekends (at night) for resurfacing. Local news, sure. National news, ho hum.

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