What do you get when you close a major freeway—and then split the city in half for a bicycle race? Carmageddon II met "Triathlonasaurus" Sunday.
The Westside was cut off to the north and south today, as Carmageddon II and the Herbalife Los Angeles Triathlon created a crazy-quilt pattern of road closures and long delays.
The result was not pretty. One traffic reporter said his phone lines were melting down with people infuriated they could not cross north or south across Olympic or Venice boulevards from downtown all the way out to Venice Beach.
The San Diego (405) Freeway, the only northbound route available on the Westside, quickly jammed as traffic passed the triathlon, only to run into barricades for the 53-hour-long Carmageddon II closures. Six northbound lanes
were shoehorned down to one lane east, and one lane west, on the Santa Monica (10) Freeway.
Starting at 7 a.m., police closed all cross streets on Venice Boulevard from the beach to Fairfax Avenue, a small stretch of Fairfax, and Olympic Boulevard from Fairfax to downtown. Dozens of cross-streets were to stay closed until about 11 a.m.
In the Mid City area, traffic sensors showed jammed conditions on east- west streets north of the Olympic closure, including Beverly Boulevard, Third Street, and Wilshire Boulevard. La Cienega Boulevard was jammed three miles, from Beverly Center to the Santa Monica Freeway.
The westbound 10 was jammed as motorists jockeyed to pass over Venice and exit at Robertson Boulevard.
The triathlon had been granted permits months before the Carmageddon II was scheduled. It included a field of about 2,500 competitors from 30 states, the District of Columbia and 13 nations, including a record 43 professionals.
The race began with a 1,500-meter swim off Venice Beach, followed by a 24.8-mile bicycle race to Staples Center. Grand Avenue was closed for a 10-
kilometer run through downtown Los Angeles.
The finish line was at L.A. Live.
The field includes two 2012 Olympians—American Hunter Kemper, who was
14th in the men's triathlon, and Flora Duffy of Bermuda, 45th in the women's
The men's and women's winners will each receive $10,000 and the runners-