If you live in the westside of Los Angeles and drive along the 405 freeway daily, then you’ve probably experienced traffic jams caused by the Wilshire Boulevard construction. “Carmagedon” happened in 2010 when the 405 was closed for a weekend, and its sequel in 2011. The Rampture closures of the Wilshire Blvd exits on both sides of the freeway spans an entire year, hopefully ending this summer.
After experiencing the first wrath of Rampture last June, I tried looking up the closure dates on Metro’s website and quickly got frustrated. After a few beers and some free time, I was inspired to write the Rampture Calculator, a web app that will save others the time in calculating how many days they won’t have freeway access to/from Wilshire Blvd. I found a PDF on Metro’s site and wrote some date calculations based on a person’s on/off ramp access. A user just needs to enter their on/off ramp access and exit (west or east Wilshire) and the web app will display how many days they won’t have access.
Promoting the App
Next came the hard part: promoting it. Using some strategies I’ve learned from conferences and at work, I needed to find an influential person who was in tune with the transportation scene and in technology. Enter my friend Sirinya Matute. She’s an awesome transporation guru who lives and breathes what she preaches about traveling green. There’s hardly a time I don’t see her with a bike or scooter in tow. She writes for LA Streets Blog and was able to do a story about my app. From there she called up a few other bloggers and got more coverage. The web app was mentioned on several sites including: LAist, Curbed LA, UCLA Newsroom, and even a retweet from the Mayor!