Work begins tonight on the demolition of Wilshire Boulevard on and off-ramps to the 405, which is supposed to continue for a year. Some call it “Rampture,” Shortcuts calls it hell. Either way it’s going to be a nightmare for commuters and it’s going to hit L.A.’s West Side the hardest, affecting drivers on their way to the Veterans Administration complex, UCLA and The Getty.
KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis looks at the impact of the closures for the near and long term:
To help you live through the experience, here are some survival tips. They aren’t a cure-all, but will hopefully help relieve some of the pain during the months of freeway misery ahead.
1. Give yourself more time
For instance, the Veterans Affairs office in the area is advising its employees to plan on taking twice as much time to get to work. UCLA is telling its staff to consider working different hours and, better yet, consider telecommuting.
2. Pay attention to detours
I know this will be only so helpful since everyone will be looking for alternate routes. Metro has a a website with detour information, including maps, here. And don’t forget the secret detours you can’t use anymore like cutting through the VA complex (they’re closing the gate).
3. Consider ride sharing
4. Use your muscle power
Ride your bike. But please be careful with all of the extra traffic on the streets and don’t do it if you feel like you aren’t a competent cyclist. If you need a primer on cycling and bike safety, check out the website for the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coaliton.
5. Stay informed
Thanks to the magic of the Web, there are several websites to stay informed about L.A.-area traffic conditions.
Here’s some sage advice from KCRW’s resident traffic expert, Kajon Cermak, who talked to Warren Olney.
But the sad news is, at the end of the day, it’s a big old traffic jam. Maybe it’s time to stay home and read a book?