Villaraigosa, Officials Say L.A. Will Survive Carmageddon

City and county officials once again tell Los Angeles area residents to stay off the roads during the 405 Freeway closure.

At a press conference just hours before the first on-ramps were shut down for work on the 405 Freeway, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the city would benefit from the 53-hour closure.

The mayor also encouraged L.A. residents to stay close to their local neighborhoods and use other transportation options.

"We can either say we survived Carmageddon, or we can say we survived the Carmageddon hype," Villaraigosa said. "It doesn't have to be the end of the world. This is a unique opportunity for Angelenos to shop locally and to discover the world of public transportation."

Villaraigosa also emphasized that the shutdown was necessary for the region to reduce traffic congestion.

"Allow us to do everything we want to do under Measure R, to invest in reducing gridlock and clear air and all that stuff," he said.

The mayor was not as clear, however, on what the cost of the entire operation would be and how the dozen or so agencies involved would get their money.

"All of the agencies will be compensated where appropriate," he said. "These things happen in cities. We've said before we're a big city and we have a responsibility. The project budget will cover some of these costs. I can't tell you what they all are."

County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky chose to warn commuters once again to stay off the roads.

"Don't wait until the last off-ramp before the closure to try to get off the freeway," Yaroslavsky said. "Those off-ramps ... are going to be some of the most intense, the most congested off-ramps in Los Angeles history."

At the command center, information officers set up live streaming of freeway maps. By 6 p.m., the 405 from the Westside to the Valley was most flowing at posted speeds and most other freeways were not congested.

Cyndi July 16, 2011 at 05:31 AM
Tony Villar can't speak a coherent sentence without UH UH UH DUH DUH DUH....this is sad that we have a grade school illiterate running a major city.
trojan2002 July 16, 2011 at 05:47 AM
I like how happy Cardenas looks. "Look mom I'm on TV" That smile will be wiped off his face when Alex Padilla files papers to run against him in the congressional district.
Carl Heinrich July 16, 2011 at 07:59 AM
Is this guy still mayor? Hours before the first ramp closed? Way to stay on top of things mayor.
Chuck Benesch July 16, 2011 at 01:25 PM
What does Tony care about Carmaggedon? He'll be leaving town to help solve the "debt ceiling" and world peace.....his version of "let 'em eat cake"
Carl Heinrich July 16, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Hopefully he'll be gone for good soon!
Sunny July 16, 2011 at 08:15 PM
unfortunately, we might not survive him.
WeHoOne July 17, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Question is, will we survive Villaraigosa? Other than another photo op, this is the most useless mayor in the history of L.A. A publicity freak & opportunist. I can't see that he could possibly get elected to higher office, based on his incompetency as the mayor L.A. He really should have his own reality TV show, where he could get the attention he craves, parade around in public with his toothy smile & royal wave, and that way he could do less harm to the political system. His administration has hired the dregs of the city to fill "public servant" positions, so many of them are being exposed as thieves, taking advantage of the people's money & property. I simply cannot abide this man by any measure.


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