On Thursday, I decided to cut through the Sepulveda Pass on the 405. I hadn't been through there in a while, and I wanted to see what all the changes were that CalTrans is about to make. I didn't seem to be the only one. There was a lot of slow driving and a lot of people taking pictures.
It was interesting to see the prep work they had done for ripping things up and redesigning the lanes.
I also found the front page story about it in the LA Times very interesting.
The 405 freeway, as much as we hate it, has become a cultural touchstone for those who live in Southern California. If you live in the Valley, you have probably driven this route a thousand times.
I thought about all the odd things that had happened to me on the 405.
Once I had pulled up behind a stalled car and used my car to push them over the hill into the Valley.
Another time I had to swerve through the wreckage of an RV that had overturned and disintegrated.
I had to carefully drive around the stove, the shower...etc...
Back in the 90's, I was driving a taxi on the 405 near Mulholland and it caught on fire. I didn't want to get stuck there in that pass, so I kept driving all the way back to the company headquarters in Van Nuys, even though flames were shooting out from under the hood. I got a lot of odd looks from people that day.
Some other people were also feeling nostalgic. There were people at the intersection of Ventura and Van Nuys who were selling t-shirts with the 405 freeway symbol on them. I almost pulled over and bought one, but then I suddenly remembered.. "Wait a minute, I hate the 405!!" And the 405 is not going away, it is just getting a facelift.
I honestly don't think things will be all that bad.
The City has warned people for months.
I think Topanga Canyon, Beverly Glen, Coldwater Canyon, and Laurel Canyon will get a workout.
I think the 101 and 110 and the 5 will be busier than usual, but I think it will all work out.