All the people praising the 405 closure for its effect on Los Angeles actually have some numbers on their side. Culturally, "Carmageddon" boosted museum attendance, brought down violent crime and traffic collisions, and got more people on public transportation. It even trended higher than the Harry Potter premiere as a search term on Google.
County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky broke down the impact by numbers:
Number of violent crimes reported to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and LAPD on
- Saturday, July 9: 276. On Carmageddon Saturday: 260.
- Number of traffic collisions handled by CHP countywide on July 9: 185. On Carmageddon Saturday: 136....
- Some good news: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County attendance on the Saturday before Carmageddon was 1,200. Attendance for the new Dinosaur Hall opening on Carmageddon Saturday: 3,785.
- Google search ranking for the term “Carmageddon” on July 15, the day before the closure: 3. Google search ranking on the same day for “Harry Potter reviews”: 5.
Of course, since Angelenos ditched their cars for a weekend, many other events and activities that normally bring the city together were left wanting. Attendance at LA County beaches and the soccer match between LA Galaxy-Real Madrid soccer game were half of what they would normally be, as were parking revenues from Zuma and Will Rogers Beaches.
And while violent crime arrests were down, there were 8 arrests related to 405 hijinks like attempting to bike or walk on the freeway. The Carmageddon diners, though, weren't arrested.