L.A. panicking over freeway shutdown

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From what this New Yorker can tell from the movies, Interstate 405 is pretty much always jammed in Los Angeles. (Honestly, after watching Terminator 2 thirty times at the age of twelve, I still think of L.A. highways and picture the above.)

In any event, L.A. traffic is about to get even worse, as the city's shutting down a ten-mile stretch of the 405 on Friday night through Monday morning in order to add a lane. Angelenos might finally have to take the subway! No, that will not happen, even though L.A.'s making their poor neglected subways free this weekend.

Much of Los Angeles is in a tizzy about the whole thing, with commuters fearing "Carmageddon," and even calmer local statesmen like Ashton Kutcher tweeting warnings to stay off the road. (The LAPD apparently asked Kutcher, Kim Kardashian, and Lady Gaga to alert their millions of fans about the closure. We live in strange times.)

Perhaps the most dramatic response comes from JetBlue, which offered flights from Long Beach to Burbank — thirty-four miles away — for the kingly sum of $4. All the flights sold out. Don't expect L.A.'s notorious smog problem to clear up any time soon, incidentally. Bottom line: I am glad I live in the one U.S. city with an international-class public-transit system. Good luck, L.A.!