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Santa Monica Urges Residents to Buy Local During Jamzilla

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau

By Daniel Larios
Special to the Lookout

February 12, 2014 -- From the transportation agencies that brought you "Carmaggedon" and "Carmaggedon II" comes "Jamzilla."

Metro and Caltrans are informing the public about a series of closuresof the I-405 Freeway, dubbed by officials as "Jamzilla," scheduled for this upcoming Valentine's/Presidents' Day Weekend. The closures are necessary to accomodate a paving operation that will lay down several layers of concrete on the northbound I-405 carpool lane, according to Metro officials.

Two northbound lanes will remain open during daytime hours, Metro said in a statement. But during nighttime hours, all five northbound freeway lanes will be closed. The nighttime closures will occur as early as midnight and continue until as late as 7 a.m.

Metro officials are warning drivers about the “possibility of major traffic delays” and asking them to eliminate unnecessary car trips, divert their routes to other freeways or avoid the area altogether.

While this may seemingly dampen plans during a busy travelling weekend, city officials and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce are encouraging residents to enjoy the weekend by staying in town and supporting local businesses through a campaign called "Buy Local Santa Monica."

"Buy Local Santa Monica is a campaign that was created by the City of Santa Monica and representatives of the Santa Monica business community to support local businesses and raise awareness of the community benefits of choosing local first." said Jennifer Taylor, the City's Economic Development Administrator

"It is a great resource for residents to check out the fun things they can do here, such as bike tours and walking tours around their beautiful city. There's plenty of fun opportunities for them to explore their own city without having to use the freeway," she said.

The closures begin on Valentine's Day, a time when couples all over the city are trying to enjoy the perfect evening together. The "Buy Local" campaign provides ways for these couples to have a great time without putting up with traffic jams and the freeway closure, according to Taylor.

"A lot of our restaurants and businesses in town are doing special Valentines promotions," she said. "There is no shortages of fine dining and romantic activities that couples can enjoy during Valentine's day."

One option is buying and cooking a romantic dinner using fresh, organic ingredients bought at the local Farmer's Market. The Downtown Farmer's Market is open Wednesday from 8:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m and on Saturday from 8:30 a.m to 1 p.m. The Pico Farmer's Market will also be open on Saturday from 8 a.m to 1 p.m., while the Main Street Farmer's Market will be open on Sunday from 9:30 a.m to 1 p.m.

"It can be a weekend of romance with local organic eating opportunities," Taylor said.

For more information on Buy Local Santa Monica and Valentine's Day events, visit www.buylocalsantamonica.com.


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