Carmageddon: LA?

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Samuel John Klein
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Carmageddon: LA?

Postby Samuel John Klein » Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:41 am

Okay, you Angelenos, for those of us who are from erewhons elsehwere and don't understand how bad the Sepulveda Pass closure is or who understand how important the car is to LA but have never seen the place, how's that so-called Carmageddon affecting your lives? How does it look from ground level out in there?

Sam.
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FrankChurch
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Re: Carmageddon: LA?

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:09 pm

That's what you sprawl loving fucks deserve. hahahahahahahaha.

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Lori Koonce
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Re: Carmageddon: LA?

Postby Lori Koonce » Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:10 pm

Frank

So, I suppose there are no Freeways in Ohio?

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FrankChurch
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Re: Carmageddon: LA?

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:13 pm

We don't drive everywhere like you people. We actually walk places here. hahahahaha

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Lori Koonce
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Re: Carmageddon: LA?

Postby Lori Koonce » Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:23 pm

People walk here when it's reasonable.

I supposed that older person with the bad knees shold walk the 7 or 8 miles to get to the Doctor. And Seeing as how I was thinking about going to Disneland in December, I should start walking now. That 800 or so miles is gonna take a bit of time to accomplish.

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Re: Carmageddon: LA?

Postby Moderator » Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:52 pm

Okay, speaking as one of the Angelenos in question (though technically it's well north of Long Beach). Duane, Josh, Rob (where the heck is he, btw? Hasn't posted for at least a month) and the Ellisons are more in the line of fire. But...

The part of the freeway taken down runs through the Sepulveda pass. As the name suggests, it's through a steep valley which cuts between the westside of Los Angeles, which includes Westwood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, up to the San Fernando Valley. It's the busiest freeway section in the country (and if not by extension the world).

And, as the name Sepulveda Pass suggests, there are not a whole lot of alternate routes. Sepulveda Boulevard parallels the freeway, but it's one lane each direction in sections. Otherwise you've only got a very few two lane residential drives between the Westside and the Valley, unless you go all the way west to the Pacific Coast Highway or all the way east to the Hollywood Freeway-- both of which are significantly out of the way and time-consuming diversions. Most other freeway routes in the city are surrounded by city streets or other freeways, so the diversion is a small one -- this, on the other hand -- is singly threaded.

Oddly enough, despite the extensive freeway system here we do have a large number of such choke points. Heading North there are really only two exit freeways, the 101 which goes up through Santa Barbara, and the Grapevine (Interstate 5) which goes to the Central Valley. On the East it narrows to Interstate 10 through the lower desert and the 15 through to Las Vegas. To San Diego you have to take the 5. It's the only way through Camp Pendleton along the coast.

But in the city itself, there's only one such serious choke point, and it's down for the day. Unlike other cities (like SFO), LA doesn't have a major westside commuter network. As James Moran described it:

"London is like a dinner plate, and getting a minicab from one end to the other can be 30, 40, 50 quid at the most, during the day. That would have been fine, but Los Angeles isn't like a dinner plate. It's like a 57-piece dinner service, spread out over a football field, with long bamboo poles connecting some of the pieces. The poles are the freeways, which you have to use, and if you step on the football field grass, you explode. Or something. Anyway, it's staggeringly big and complicated." (from James' blog.)
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Carmageddon: LA?

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:16 pm

Bring back the red car!

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Carmageddon: LA?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:42 pm

From the Eastern Seaboard events out west seem so nebulous and unreal. :shock:

Having come from Atlanta and having lived in Louisville, KY for a while I do sympathize with folks who live in an area where they have to drive everywhere. DC has terrible traffic but it's mostly folks from the burbs driving in to work. Living in the Greater Urban Nucleus as I do I literally could survive without a car. But it's paid for and it's useful for excursions outward so I'll keep it.
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Samuel John Klein
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Re: Carmageddon: LA?

Postby Samuel John Klein » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:09 pm

Barber wrote:The part of the freeway taken down runs through the Sepulveda pass. As the name suggests, it's through a steep valley which cuts between the westside of Los Angeles, which includes Westwood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, up to the San Fernando Valley. It's the busiest freeway section in the country (and if not by extension the world).

And, as the name Sepulveda Pass suggests, there are not a whole lot of alternate routes. Sepulveda Boulevard parallels the freeway, but it's one lane each direction in sections. Otherwise you've only got a very few two lane residential drives between the Westside and the Valley, unless you go all the way west to the Pacific Coast Highway or all the way east to the Hollywood Freeway-- both of which are significantly out of the way and time-consuming diversions. Most other freeway routes in the city are surrounded by city streets or other freeways, so the diversion is a small one -- this, on the other hand -- is singly threaded.


I'd heard that Supulveda Blvd is closed to all but local traffics anyhows. The whole idea of a "mountain range" within a city limits (even one as modest as the Santa Monicas) always has fascinated me, as does LA geography in general. The singularly peculiar marriage of geography and human city reminds me of the bon mot "The flesh the day makes … and the day the flesh makes". I'm about as fascinated by LA geography as an Oregonian can be.

Barber wrote:"London is like a dinner plate, and getting a minicab from one end to the other can be 30, 40, 50 quid at the most, during the day. That would have been fine, but Los Angeles isn't like a dinner plate. It's like a 57-piece dinner service, spread out over a football field, with long bamboo poles connecting some of the pieces. The poles are the freeways, which you have to use, and if you step on the football field grass, you explode. Or something. Anyway, it's staggeringly big and complicated." (from James' blog.)


Lovely image-invoking verbiage. I think my town, Portland, is a big one, but then my impressions of how big a city can be are shaped by my life in Oregon, where despite whatever population we have, no town gets very big. My original hometown of Silverton could be walked across in a couple of hours; my teenage hometown of Salem, you could walk across it east-to-west in an afternoon.

I've never visited LA, but hope to if only just once in my life. I'm not one to move to that area … but I am an admirer of sorts.

Sam Klein.
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Duane
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Re: Carmageddon: LA?

Postby Duane » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:35 pm

Carmageddon, the non-event.

Everyone stayed home or adjusted their lives for a weekend. And none of the expected happened.

Had the weekend been labeled "Stay home Saturday & Sunday" or something else equally tin-eared, LA would have been a parking lot. But "Carmageddon" rolled off the tongue like caramel, and it caught on. Heck, even my local NuArt theater on Sawtelle advertised "Cornageddon -- free popcorn for all movie patrons this weekend!"

The power of a meme.

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Re: Carmageddon: LA?

Postby cynic » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:10 am

600G early completion bonus? yum.
follow your bliss,mike

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FrankChurch
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Re: Carmageddon: LA?

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:53 pm

This is why localism is a good idea, so one doesn't have to drive fifty miles just to punch a godawful time clock.

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Samuel John Klein
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Re: Carmageddon: LA?

Postby Samuel John Klein » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:24 am

FrankChurch wrote:This is why localism is a good idea, so one doesn't have to drive fifty miles just to punch a godawful time clock.


Localism is a good idea on so very many other levels too.

Sam.
Samuel John Klein, your friend, and your friend, and mine too
http://zehnkatzen.blogspot.com samuel.klein@gmail.com
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Somewhere in Southeast Portland. The banal part.


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