Carmageddon Not Living Up to its Name, So Far

Warnings seem to have worked: Traffic falls short of hype

Last Updated: July 16, 2011 @ 11:32 AM

Carmageddon has been okay, so far.

Officials have warned for months that the shutdown of the 405 freeway between western Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley this weekend could lead to clogged streets, but most people seem to have heeded their suggestions to avoid travel. Many streets look eerily empty.

“There has been a lot of hype, and well-intentioned hype, because we wanted to make sure people really got the message: stay at home!” Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa told the Los Angeles Times.

Also read: TheWrap's 5-Step Guide to Surviving Carmageddon

The freeway is shut down for a $1 billion project to widen the road.

Many Angelenos took to Twitter to register reactions to carmageddon’s opening hours:

@Shantielforreal: Got to work in 9 minutes when it normally takes 25-30 min! I love #carmageddon!

@richandcreamy: I'm sad #Carmageddon is boring. #FirstWorldProblems

"Carmaggedon? More like carmaheaven. No traffic in L.A.," tweeted Chip Dorsh, who told CBS news, “When I left work, it was like a no man's land.”

With the traffic not yet an issue, L.A. residents close to the construction are more frustrated by noisy helicopters for the city and news shows flying overhead to survey the scene. Some were even moved to create a the Facebook page, "Citizens Against Media Helicopters."

The shutdown prompted JetBlue to add four $4 flights between Burbank and Long Beach to their Saturday schedule, which according to CBS news, sold out in three hours.

The flights inspired a group of cyclists who call themselves the “Wolfpack Hustle” to challenge JetBlue to a roughly 40-mile race across Los Angeles. They hope to demonstrate the alternatives to motorized transport.

Art by L.A.-based artist Lila Ash – lilaash.com