Southern California breaking news and trends

Did Carmageddon drive up the local birthrate?


Photo by Alipyon via Flickr Creative Commons

A small wave of local newborns may be pointing to a pocket of parents that opted to get down when they couldn't get out during last summer's "Carmageddon."

NBC LA has been working with Cedars-Sinai medical center, "where more babies are born west of the Mississippi than anywhere else in the country," to try and determine if there is an actual, quantifiable post-Carmageddon spike in regional birthrate.

"Our prenatal classes are fuller than they often are, so it may be a premonition that there might be more women delivering nine months after Carmageddon,” said Dr. Sarah Kilpatrick, chair of the OB/GYN department.

Carmageddon, last July's 405 freeway shutdown, kept many people in their neighborhoods lest they face a traffic snarl of biblical proportions. 

LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky is skeptical about the alleged baby boom, noting, "they said the same thing about the power failure back in New York City in the 1960s. Turned out to be a myth. I suspect it will turn out to be a myth here."


Schlepgate 2012: Six nights of 405 freeway closures begin Friday (Updated)

carmageddon 405 freeway

Photo by Paul Lovine via Flickr Creative Commons


Carmageddon's attention-starved cousin, let's call her "Schlepgate," will arrive this weekend with a trunkful of 405 closures likely disrupt the city's stop-and-go flow.

The same stretch of 405 freeway that shut down in dramatic fashion in July 2011 will be worked on again, but this time only at night. In total, six nights of Sepulveda Pass closures are planned for the 405 portion between the 101 Freeway and Getty Center Drive.

The first banishment begins Friday with northbound* lanes on lockdown at 10 p.m. On-ramps and off-ramps could stop allowing traffic as early as 7:00 p.m. Lanes will reopen by 5:00 a.m. Saturday morning. 

Saturday night will see northbound* lanes close again, and reopen Sunday, on approximately the same timetable. On Monday and Tuesday night, the southbound* lanes will close in a similar fashion. Southbound lanes will repeat the drill one more time the following week.