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Westside Traffic Woes Worsen With Triathlon

UPDATED: Drivers 'infuriated' that they couldn't cross north or south across Olympic or Venice boulevards between Venice Beach and downtown Los Angeles.

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
triathlon.

The men's and women's winners will each receive $10,000 and the runners-
up $5,000.

Tim barker September 30, 2012 at 10:19 PM
What a fiasco. This planning will go down as the worst. Why was the race not postponed or cancelled? Who really beniefits from this race? Why would we spend money for overtime cops on every corner for miles when our city is broke? Why compound the nightmare with this debacle of blind eye planning? How many injuries and accidents are a result? Heads should roll. This is our city and we get only so many weekends to relax.Pitifull at best. I blame the LA mayor. Let him explain his stupidity when everyone finally gets home preparing to work another grueling week of traffic and desperate economics. Thanks LA!
Sara Fay September 30, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Hi Tim, I'm checking with LAPD to see if there were any injuries or accidents related to the triathlon.
Travel October 01, 2012 at 03:52 AM
The planning of the triathlon (or lack thereof) seems really stupid. Don't these people coordinate calendars/dates?
whitney nicholas October 01, 2012 at 05:34 PM
just FYI... triathlons pick their dates up to a year in advance. People flew in from 13 countries and it had 50 pros. carmageddon was planned AFTER triathlon was.. so you have the city to thank for that.. Triathlons are not easily changeable.. and sorry to say.. they had this day planned for about a year.. so once again.. thank los angeles for their terrific planning.
brad stone October 01, 2012 at 06:34 PM
What a bleepin nightmare. I totally knew from the media about Carmageddon II but this Tri-event was totally under the radar. No communication on this at all. The 405 was a breeze to travel on. Shutting down Venice Blvd was a disaster. Someone at city hall should be fired over this.

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