Sometimes, when you are lucky – you stumble along and find brilliance. I’m always
looking around for photos, stories, public transportation info, freeway updates – traffic stuff. Things to share that we all can relate to. Things that as drivers, commuters, cyclists, walkers, travelers…we movers, we need to know (yeah those boring 405 closure lists). Most importantly, I want to share people. Yes, share people.
Well call me lucky. I found GOLD. His name is LB. He is funny, witty, and has that certain something. LB has a blog, The LB Tip. He allowed me to share some of his gold.
“Letter to the 405 Freeway
Dear Mr. 405 North and Mrs. 405 South,
You may remember me. I’m one of the millions of L.A. drivers that has cursed your inadequate existence over the years. Long have I endured your wrath. Long have I compared you to the experience of customer service at the DMV. Long have I made claims that you may well be the metropolitan portal to hell. I’m not writing you to request that you prove me wrong because I know you much better than you think. This letter is not about me, it’s about taking a moment to look at the real you, and how you’ve touched so many lives.
Let’s start with traffic. Obviously, this is your area of specialty as you’ve basically been pioneering new forms of it for years. There’s a tradition you abide by and I respect that — You lay out the groundwork for pain and drivers assume their rape positions, lane after lane. It’s a factory line of exhaust heat that we’re grateful for because it makes for nice sunsets. What only some of the more slightly conscious of us know, is that below the surface is a mind numbing system that breeds stress, frustration, crime, and mental breakdown. You bring the city of L.A. and all its counterparts to their knees. Like it’s nothing. Actually, that’s it exactly. You succeed in exploiting the power of nothing. It’s no coincidence why they were describing you in this classic 1984 film (when you were at the top of your game):
Let me make it clear that I don’t completely view you as a hopeless void of pain. At the end of the day, you manage to serve your given purpose. I pride myself in the fact that I’ve been more than sympathetic in factoring in your experience versus mine. I know you work long shifts and that you have a lot on your plate. I’m also sympathetic enough to acknowledge that you’ve endured some of the worst displays of driving mishaps known to man.
However, I’ve recently read that the city will be expanding your southern half, or to be more specific, giving your wretched claws a mini-manicure. As the city workers massage your heartless cement belly, traffic whores like me will suffer detours and delays like never before. The city claims they’re widening the bridges, but really they’ll be widening the pain.
Collectively, you’ve caused more mental damage to this city than even Hitler could have conjured up. Your stronghold on the north and south commute have caused the masses to surrender into a state of zombie like reliance. You’ve pulled the sheet over their eyes but not mine. I’ve watched you grow stronger. To my dismay, there have been no subways, no high speed rails, and no magical streetside alternatives able to measure up to you. There was talk that Sepulveda Boulevard might have had a chance to back in 2002, but you laughed that off nicely and held your reign.
So before talk of the 405′s progressive reconstruction hits full force, I hope this letter finds its way through your thick, cement skull and makes one thing clear: In the days ahead, as you make commuters’ lives even more unbearable, know that somewhere hidden in one of your many traffic clusters is a driver that cares about you. A driver who cares about what you have to say. Unfortunately for you, that driver isn’t me.
With Bittersweet Love,
p.s. Give my regards to the 10 West. I feel I’ve neglected her in this letter. She’s been a great force in helping you become who you are today.”
I sure wish I wrote that!