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Get Ready for “Carmageddon II: The Rampocalypse”

May 18, 2012 in Driving, Transportation

Both ways

Last summer’s blockbuster Carmageddon was such a smash hit, we’re bringing you the sequel. That’s right, fasten your seat belts for the ride of your lives. On June 22, Carmageddon II: The Rampocalypse comes to a 405 near you. In a world where L.A. area road construction causes widespread panic, “Carmageddon II” will blow your doors off!

We’ll destroy and then rebuild all the Wilshire Blvd. ramps connecting to the 405! We’ll take a year to do it! We’ll have Ramp Jam 2012, and it’s all in 3-D!

Get your tickets now!

Irony Alert: Avoiding the Traffic to Get To and From the Car Show

November 17, 2011 in Driving, Events, Mass Transit, Transportation

MINI Coupe

Like many Los Angeles area folks, I’m crazy about cars. Fortunately, I’m able to incorporate my love into my work, and covered the L.A. Auto Show on Press Day 1 yesterday. Unfortunately, my day was ruled as much by the cars on the roads outside than by the shiny new models inside the Convention Center.

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by Burns!

Air Force One Drops In To L.A.

April 19, 2011 in culver city, West Side

As I’ve previously mentioned, it’s pretty exciting when Air Force One is at LAX. It is, after all, probably the most recognizable 747 in the country, if not the world. In addition to being exciting to see, it can also be a tremendous pain in the ass. If Air Force One is here, that means the President is, too. And that likely means especially bad traffic on L.A.’s streets.

If you’re a fan of plane spotting, I’m here to give you the hot tip. Pick your spot on the lawn next to In-N-Out on Sepulveda on Thursday afternoon. If all goes according to schedule, Air Force One will cross directly in front of you as it comes in to land at 2:45pm. I always recommend getting there at least 30-60 minutes early, as this flight sometimes runs ahead of schedule.

If you’re not a fan of plane spotting (or heavy traffic,) I’m here to give you the hot tip. Stay the hell away from West L.A. on Thursday afternoon! President Obama arrives in mid-afternoon and will be heading to Sony Studios in Culver City to appear at a fundraiser for his reelection campaign. The Secret Service has worked closely with LAPD and LADOT to mitigate the traffic caused by the presidential motorcade, but seriously, how much can they do? Traffic in that area is typically bad anyway. Add the President to the mix, and things could get ugly.

President Obama will spend the night in southern California, then depart on Friday morning. Scheduled departure is 8:55am, if you plane spotters would like to see AFO in flight again. Remember to set up at the opposite end of the airport, as departing flights head out over the ocean.

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by frazgo

Yikes where did all the traffic come from?

January 27, 2011 in Downtown, Driving, Transportation

It used to be, and it wasn’t that long ago one could zip into Downtown LA from where I am pretty quickly off peak times.  In the last couple of months I’ve had reason to be downtown after 4 and the drive in was as big a grind from Dodger Stadium as the mornings were back in the day when I had to commute in peak morning drive.  Whaaaaaa happened to change this so its always tough getting in to downtown LA?

Neutron Bomb Known as the Long Weekend Hits Los Angeles

September 2, 2010 in Driving, ICME, Transportation, West Side

It’s only the day before the day before the Labor Day weekend, but I noticed a sweet decrease of cars driving on the West Side today.  Did anyone else notice the same thing in other areas of Los Angeles?  Getting around for the next few days might even be pleasurable.  And hopefully those who have left town are not on their way to the North Carolina coast.  Wherever you are, have a great holiday weekend!

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by Burns!

Plane Spotting: Wrap-Up

August 17, 2010 in Events, Transportation

Last week I mentioned an opportunity to have a (semi) up-close gander at Air Force One as it arrived at LAX yesterday. Did you go?

The President and his posse arrived about 40 minutes ahead of schedule Monday afternoon, which worked out really well for those of us who had gotten there early. It meant beating the worst of the afternoon traffic coming back up through downtown.

Now, speaking of the traffic, I heard it was terrible virtually everywhere yesterday. The Pres flew via Marine One from LAX to Beverly Hills, but once he got into the car bound for the DCCC fundraiser in Hancock Park, Secret Service street closures for the motorcade turned all of L.A. into one giant traffic clusterf*ck.

For the record, I was there for the arrival. I had nothing to do with the resulting traffic.

If you were there, how was it from where you stood? In addition to the grassy knoll at In-N-Out, I saw a bunch of people perched above Imperial Highway on W. Imperial Avenue, which gave the advantage of being down toward the end of the runway where Air Force One was parked.

The rest of the photos from my vantage point on the runway can be found in this Flickr set.

Keep On Moving

July 30, 2010 in Driving, Maps

One of my favorite shortcuts in L.A. is Outpost Drive, which runs from Mulholland Dr. to Franklin Ave. I frequently use it when I want to get from the North Hollywood/Burbank area to La Brea and points west. It’s a fantastic way to avoid jam ups in the Cahuenga Pass and/or at Hollywood & Highland. This is, of course, very important during Hollywood Bowl season.

Last night as I was returning home from a lovely meet up with some fellow bloggers, I realized it was just about time for the Bowl audience to be leaving. So, I made my way over to Outpost and started up the hill. I was delightfully surprised to find that most of the entire route has been repaved and is an exceptionally smooth ride. Previously, it was so bad that when I got a new car a few years ago, it took me many months to even subject it to the trek.

I do have a few other bypasses I like to take to get “over the hill” if I’m traveling at peak traffic times. The shortcuts don’t always guarantee getting to my destination any earlier, but I’d rather be moving than just sitting on a congested freeway or street.

Do you have a favorite shortcut or tip for circumventing traffic in this city? Leave it in the comments below.

Downtown Tonight: Traffic, Traffic, Traffic

October 27, 2009 in Downtown, Driving

Oh, man.  I had all these plans to leave the Westside to meet a few folks and try out CorkBar’s Test Kitchen Tuesdays special (tonight’s $2 test kitchen plate: braised oxtail with parsley risotto) and then I came across this.  The LA Times helpfully warns us that the convergence of normal rush hour traffic, the Lakers’ season opener at Staples Center, and the premiere of the Michael Jackson movie This Is It at LA Live likely will result in a nightmare for anyone headed in the general vicinity of downtown tonight.  Shucks.  To CorkBar, I’ll have to say what I’ve been saying to people more and more often lately: maybe next week.  Maybe.

It’s New Year’s Day and Where the Hell is Everybody?

January 1, 2009 in Driving, Holidays, West Side

Walgrove Ave. near Venice Blvd.

Driving around the West Side today was a thrill. I’m used to seeing the streets of big cities, such as New York and Washington, DC, empty on New Year’s Day morning. But the West Side streets were also empty as late as 4 o’clock this afternoon, which, along with the light fog, made for an eerie sensation. I assume it was a combo of (1) hangovers; (2) brunches; (3) vacation absenteeism; (4) Tournament of Roses parade watching; and, especially, (5) USC Rose Bowl watching. Whatever the reason, the empty streets reminded me that Los Angeles would be especially pleasurable with fewer people and fewer cars. I tip my hat to the bicycle commuters out there. As for the rest of us who live here and drive around town, I guess we can’t complain too much, since we’re part of the problem.  But at least we can enjoy one day of decreased stress.

Los Angeles ghost town, after the jump

Hyperspeed: My Morning Commute

August 15, 2008 in Biking in LA, West Side

So the last couple of my bike commutes I’ve been goofing around with the timelapse capabilities of my handlebar-mounted digicam and the results have been interesting… to me, at least.

There’s no envelope being pushed here, just your standard low-res, potentially motion-sickness-inducing timelapse that condensed my 60-minute 14-mile crosstown journey into four stopmotion-filled minutes. Contrary to what we’ve lately been finding in the media, the trip wasn’t a death-defiant one. I didn’t get doored or get cursed at, or get drenched in flung beverage, or get a ticket, or get shot, stabbed, run over or run off the road. I just get on my bike and get to work — but not on any freeway. Instead I traverse thoroughfares far more frightening than a gridlocked 405: Fairfax Avenue and the boulevards of Venice and Sepulveda. Anyway, I hope you come along for the ride below and enjoy it. My philosophy is that any day I can ride a bike is automatically a better day.

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