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Total Gridlock Turns LA Freeway Into Gorgeous Christmas Display

Photo: ABC7/Facebook (screengrab)
Photo: ABC7/Facebook (screengrab)

Last night, the 405 in Los Angeles did what the 405 does: slowed traffic to a turtle’s pace, sending commuters into a bumper-to-bumper nightmare. But the bright side—literally—was that ABC7 captured the traffic from the sky, and all those cars squeezed together created a beautiful Christmas display.


Just have a look at how the taillights from one lane and the headlights from the other come together create a beautiful scene:

Sometimes the most diabolical things can look so stunning, like a translucent Jellyfish pulsing in the waves, or a vibrant poisonous frog perched on a tropical plant. Or, in this case, a traffic jam on the busiest highway in any American city just a few days before Thanksgiving.


But something tells me the view wasn’t nearly as nice from behind the steering wheel.

Hat tip to Autoblog

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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The Old Man from Scene 24

Hate to be that guy, but technically this is not ‘gridlock.’

From Wikipedia: Gridlock is a type of traffic jam where “continuous queues of vehicles block an entire network of intersecting streets, bringing traffic in all directions to a complete standstill”.[1]The term originates from a situation possible in a grid plan where intersections are blocked, preventing vehicles from either moving forwards through the intersection or backing up to an upstream intersection.

The term gridlock is also incorrectly used to describe high traffic congestion with minimal flow (which is simply a traffic jam), where a blocked grid system is not involved. By extension, the term has been applied to situations in other fields where flow is stalled by excess demand, or in which competing interests prevent progress.

The 405 is a limited access highway, therefore no grids.