A few blogs back, I discussed ways to avoid any Little Brain activity during the “Carmegeddon” that never materialized.
Let’s break down what happened as a lesson in how to do things right – when you have something that is going to potentially change peoples lives in a negative way – and come out on the other end looking great. Some simple principles that are highlighted in the book came to life to make this “geddon” a great weekend rather than an event worthy of biblical comparison.
First: Telegraphing was used by Caltrans and other agencies to get the word out far ahead of time to alert as many people as possible to prepare for the pending “problem.”
Second: Processing time was long enough for everyone to feel that they could be a part of the solution, which gave us all an investment in the outcome.
Third: Responsible planning led to one smooth weekend that is remembered as unremarkable. That is testament to those who planned so well.
Fourth: Giving credit to others. The people of Los Angeles showed that they will use their Big Brains without any difficulty. “Just treat us like adults. We know it’s just traffic.”
The Legacy of Carmageddon is that “Cal Trans knows what it is doing” and they can get the job done. Additionally, Los Angeles traffic coordinators deserve a special nod of recognition for making it a boring traffic weekend.
A note to all: Perhaps comparing anything to the end of the world, in retrospect, is a bit circus-like (“come and see the most amazing thing you have ever witnessed!”). Let’s be careful, going forward, lest we honor P.T. Barnum too much, instead of the people of Los Angeles, for just doing the right thing.
© 2011 Kevin T. McCarney. All rights reserved.
(for more on this topic, see page 120 in the book)
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