They have a plan: Stick close to home, if at all possible.
And they have this: no idea what really will transpire when a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 405 in Los Angeles is shut down for 53 hours starting tonight for a road-improvement project in the ultra-busy Sepulveda Pass in the heart of one of the most car-centric cultures in the world.
"Allow me to be blunt: It's going to be a mess out there," Los Angeles Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky posted on his City Hall website.
"For those of you who think you can outsmart this potential mother of all traffic jams," he added, "my advice is simple: save your gas."
The 405, as it's known in Southern California parlance, is one of the main traffic arteries in Los Angeles. The affected stretch, running from Interstate 10, the Santa Monica Freeway, to Highway 101, the Ventura Freeway, is traveled by an estimated 500,000 vehicles on a typical weekend, including plenty driven by Bay Area residents heading into Dodger territory for vacation.
There are no alternative routes nearby that can handle the anticipated overflow, prompting state and regional transportation officials to warn of severe, multihour delays, above and beyond the usual hair-pulling, steering wheel-pounding congestion for which Los Angeles is famous.