“Ramp Jam.” “Rampture.” It’s a beast with many catchy names, but the result will likely be the same – yet another spate of traffic nightmares on the West side.
Transportation officials last week announced ramp closures in the ongoing construction project that will add a 10-mile carpool lane to the 405, a stretch of the famed Los Angeles freeway that already has a bad reputation for snarled traffic.
The closures will take place at the 405 and Wilshire Boulevard and are scheduled to last 90 days, allowing construction workers to reconfigure the interchange. The Wilshire closures are the beginning of a set of ramp closures slated to last a year. With the normally busy ramps out of commission, commuters will be forced to find alternate routes, leading to clogged surface streets and stressed out drivers.
Dr. Roadmap and author of "Survive the Drive! How to Beat Freeway Traffic in Southern California,” David Rizzo suggested commuters find alternative routes. He suggested drivers consider Veteran Avenue on the Eastside, Bundy Drive on the Westside, or even Sepulveda Boulevard to avoid traffic.
“They’ve done their homework and this is as good as it gets without disrupting more traffic,” Rizzo said. “As one Caltrans engineer use to say, our job is to do open heart surgery while our patient is awake. People are still driving, they still need to get places, so we have to close down the arterials as minimally as possible.”
Rizzo said commuters should avoid Santa Monica Boulevard and Sunset at all costs, describing it as the “ground zero” of Ramp Jam.
He encourages drivers to also avoid Wilshire and to enter the Northbound freeway long before reaching Wilshire.
“Wilshire by itself carries at least 50,000 cars a day and there’s money on the Westside, and wherever there’s money, there’s traffic,” Rizzo said. “It’s not going to go away, it’s recession proof. It’s going to be congested from here until we finish the project next year.”
Drivers can find up-to-date information at trafficinfo.lacity.org.
Is there any end to Los Angeles’ traffic challenges? Will the “Ramp Jam” lead you to take public transportation?
David Rizzo, known as Dr. Roadmap; author of "Survive the Drive! How to Beat Freeway Traffic in Southern California"