Letters to the Editor: Grapevine closures show how vulnerable L.A. is to traffic disruption

Grapevine traffic
Traffic on the 5 Freeway continues to move as a snowstorm begins over the Grapevine on Nov. 27.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: When the 5 Freeway is closed through the Grapevine, the effects are more devastating than your reporting reflects. Almost all northbound and southbound traffic shifts to the 101.

Because the 5 was closed on Dec. 26, thousands of cars piled onto the 101, creating a traffic jam almost beyond belief. We were headed to Paso Robles; when it took us more than four hours to travel 90 miles, we canceled our hotel reservation in Paso Robles and found a room in Ventura.

Our server in the hotel dining area had her own story: Although she lives barely 20 minutes from work via the 101, her commute took 90 minutes that morning and made her late to her shift.


I urge your reporters to become more aware of routes and traffic patterns to better report the whole story in these situations. Disrupted traffic patterns are going to be a real problem in case of a disaster, natural or human caused.

When terrorists know how these road closures affect thousands of people, major arteries such as the 5 and 101 could be very “soft” targets. What will be our response?

Catherine C. Cate, Irvine


To the editor: Why doesn’t the California Department of Transportation hire Elon Musk’s Boring Co. to tunnel underneath the Grapevine? It took me three hours to drive from Ojai to Santa Barbara on Dec. 27.

Thirty-six hours to plow a few inches of snow and reopen the Grapevine? This is would be unacceptable in my native New England. Shame on Caltrans.

Leon Juskalian, Santa Barbara