Survival guide to the 405 closures

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By Omar Omar via Flickr

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

Suffer together. Metro has a website to help match companies and individuals to ride share and van pool programs.  And UCLA also has its own ride share site.

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

Writer and performer Kristina Wong. Her car burst into flames on the 405 Freeway, which she recounts in her show “Going Green the Wong Way.”

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.

KCRW’s Shortcuts Blog

Metro’s Website

 Sigalert.com

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?

By the way, you can find out more about Kristina Wong‘s production of  “Going Green the Wong Way” and buy tickets here. Her show about living car-free in LA opens at the Bootleg Theater on June 28.