The weekend Angelenos have been fearing has finally arrived. Come Friday evening, LA's massive artery, carrying some 281,000 cars per day, will shut down.
Construction crews for the $1 billion I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project plan to demolish half of the Mulholland Bridge in the Sepulveda Pass this weekend in order to widen a 10-mile stretch between West LA and the San Fernando Valley to add car pool lanes. Off-ramps between the I-10 and U.S. 101 will begin to close as early as 7 p.m. on Friday.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority says 500,000 vehicles travel that stretch of the 405 on a typical mid-July weekend, so it is no surprise that officials are asking the public to avoid the area. And it isn't just Westsiders who will be affected. The Los Angeles Times reported that even canyon roads such as Laurel Canyon Boulevard, which feeds right into the heart of West Hollywood, are expected to become gridlocked.
If you must drive, here are the official detour maps. But for those West Hollywood residents with no particular plans, why not stay close to home? We've compiled a few choices that involve exploring your local community, riding a bike and taking public transportation.
1. Save on gas and ride a bike. is having a special on bike rentals. Rent a bike for three days and your fourth day is free. It's eco-friendly and beats fighting traffic. And if you'd rather ride without a guide, detailed path maps are available here.
2. Ever taken public transportation in Los Angeles? This weekend's the perfect time to try. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is providing free rides on the Metro Orange, Red and Purple lines, as well as on these .
3. Patronize locally owned businesses—if not for your community, how about for the discounts? A few Weho eateries, such as salad franchise , are offering Carmageddon-themed drink specials. On Saturday and Sunday, stop in for a glass of handcrafted beer for only $4.05. For more great deals, .
4. Pack a picnic and soak up the sunshine at one of the city's many public parks and open spaces— at 647 N. San Vicente Blvd., at 377 Santa Monica Blvd., at 1000 Kings Rd., pocket parks at 1140 N. Formosa Ave. and 1351 Havenhurst Dr., and the off-leash dog park at 8341 De Longpre Ave. Afterward, cool off at the West Hollywood Pool.
5. End your weekend at the , held every Sunday (rain or shine) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Patch's David De Bacco's seasonal picks are Japanese watermelons and ruby red pluots. For some great recipes, take a look at Jennifer Brody's column.