Sunday, July 17, 2011
I AVOIDED CARMAGEDDON BY STAYING IN LAS VEGAS
Since I didn't have commitments in the Valley for work or entertainment, at the worst I would have been confined to my side of the hill. Not so bad. Marina Del Rey isn't such an awful place to be with its beaches, cafes, entertainment venues and more. It might have been rough to venture downtown, but then I really didn't have a compelling reason to go there. Many events were rescheduled in view of the impending closure which lightened the traffic load for those who had to traverse the Santa Susana mountains.
Okay, call me chicken for fleeing town, but actually being in Las Vegas was a bonus. I was able to drop by the Public Safety Writers Association conference yesterday and join them for lunch.
It was fun seeing many of the people I met last year, and even though I couldn't stay because of other commitments, I was glad I went. In the process, I donated a copy of my new upcoming book, Writers' Tricks of the Trade: 39 Things You Need to Know About the ABCs of Writing Fiction as one of their drawing prizes. I'll mail an autographed copy to the winner when it is released.
Back to Carmageddon. As with similar concerns when the Olympics were held in L.A., the traffic many thought would be a nightmare was much lighter than normal. According to the news---yes, it made the Las Vegas news--- as Los Angeles entered the second day in the shutdown of the 10-mile (16-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 405 — one of the country's busiest highways, work was so far ahead of schedule this morning that officials were planning to reopen the freeway later in the day.
They were elated that the public appeared to get the message to avoid "Carmageddon" by staying off the roads, though some were concerned the lack of gridlock would make drivers complacent and spur them to return to the road before Monday's scheduled reopening.
Isn't it amazing what efficiency is possible with some cooperation and a threat of a $72,000 penalty for every hour the repair work lagged behind schedule?
Special note to Congress - Hey guys---This is what working together means! Quit jockeying for political position and work out the current debt ceiling crisis instead. This isn't about how it will play in 2012 or which party will prevail. It is about addressing the impending Government shutdown as the intelligent lawmakers we hoped we elected.