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When the 405 Goes Down, Let's Throw a Party

For an entire weekend, the San Diego Freeway will be closed. All traffic will be re-routed beginning Friday evening, July 15, until 5 a.m. Monday morning, July 18. So, don't make it painful ... let's party!

won't be fun.

When the 405 closes for the July 15 demolishing weekend, hundreds of thousands of cars will be looking for other ways to get from Point A to Point B.

In addition, Sepulveda Blvd., which runs alongside the freeway, will only be open to residents.  So, imagine what the traffic will look like on Topanga, Coldwater and Laurel Canyons!

Even if you take the city's advice and avoid traveling to the Valley, the re-routed traffic will clog LA's other freeways and throughways.

The Metro website spells out the specifics in excruciating detail.  The site states, "Traffic conditions on local streets and freeways within the region of Los Angeles County and beyond are expected to be severe, with significant, multi-hour delays."

Make special note of the phrase "within the region of Los Angeles County and beyond".  That means traffic could back up into Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange Counties.

Expect to see helicopters buzzing overhead as news agencies from around the world vie for the most dramatic footage of our gridlocked city.

What should Palisadians do?

Given such a grim prognosis, long-time resident Norm Beegun has a suggestion: the Palisades should throw itself a party.  

We're ten days away, plenty of time to plan events for the weekend. The restaurants on Swarthmore could offer a weekend of discounts. 

is expected to open that week on Bastille Day, July 14, which is a perfect time for Palisadians to try out the Village's newest restaurant.

With a captive audience, local organizations can put on events. The library could have a book fair. Houses of worship could have open houses, featuring some of their special programs.

Athletic events can be scheduled for the park. Families can organize block parties. Gelson's, Von's and Ralphs can put on cooking demonstrations.

We need to be creative. There's no need to suffer. Let's turn adversity into an opportunity. Organize barbecues, lunches with friends, picnics in the park, dinner parties and cook outs.

Get your recipes organized for the party with treats like brown sugar pork ribs, carrot salad, grilled corn-parsley saladchocolate chip-banana-walnut-blueberry cake,  kimchi chicken wingsegg salad with crispy bacon, rosemary fried chicken and roasted beet salad.

If traffic backs up as predicted, Sunset will turn into a parking lot.

Palisadians will be able to cope because we can bicycle or walk into the Village. We'll be a living example of the billboards that torment gridlocked commuters, saying, "If you lived here, you'd be home now."

And, one more thing, the closure of the 405 in July is only part one of a two-part process.

The southern side of the Mullholland Bridge will be demolished on July 15-18. In a year, the northern side will come down and we'll have Carmageddon all over again.

Let's party now so we'll know what to do next year!

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