Carmageddon discounts provide alternative to driving

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Carmageddon 2

AP graphic

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – In hopes of encouraging motorists to stay off freeways during the upcoming “Carmageddon II” closure of the San Diego (405) Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass, local officials today announced discounts being offered by 300 eateries and attractions to give people alternatives to driving.

“We’re asking folks to use the weekend, discover a local restaurant, take a bike ride, visit a museum using one of our newly expanded transit lines,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said during a news conference at the Hollywood and Highland Center. “It could be the Orange Line, the subway, the Exposition Line, the Gold Line, you name it.”

“Carmageddon II” is scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 29-30. The 405 Freeway will be closed in both directions between the Santa Monica (10) and Ventura (101) freeways, allowing construction crews to demolish the remaining half of the Mulholland bridge over the freeway.

The first “Carmageddon” occurred in July 2011, but the anticipated massive traffic congestion never materialized, as motorists apparently got the message to avoid the area and stay home that weekend.

County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky cautioned that motorists should not get complacent, thinking that last year’s experience means there won’t be any traffic problems during the upcoming closure.

“With public cooperation, this will be a non-event,” he said. “With complacency and a lack of cooperation, it can become a traffic nightmare. So let’s make it a non-event. Let’s turn ‘Carmageddon’ into ‘Carma-Heaven’ or ‘Schmarmageddon’ or any other ‘geddon’ you want to dream up. We look forward to a great weekend on the 29th and 30th.”

Metro, which is overseeing the $1 billion Sepulveda Pass freeway improvement project, has partnered with about 300 merchants throughout the area to offer discounts ranging from 10 to 50 percent during the closure. Among the attractions offering discounts are the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, the Santa Monica Playhouse, the Grammy Museum and the Los Angeles Zoo.

An interactive map with information about discounts is available on Metro’s website, www.metro.net.

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