Posted at 04:55 PM ET, 06/30/2011

Lady Gaga as a traffic cop? L.A. asks celebrities to tweet out freeway closures


Lady Gaga: singer, future traffic cop? (Toru Hanai/Reuters)
Lady Gaga spends much of her 140 characters on Twitter sharing photographs of her ever-changing hairstyle. If the Los Angeles Police Department is successful in their latest community outreach program, mixed in with the glamor shots will be traffic updates as well.

For two days on July 16 and 17, one Los Angeles’s largest freeways, the 405, will be shut down for 10 miles to demolish a bridge, in the city’s ongoing fight against its major traffic problems — which could mean a two-day traffic nightmare.

The LAPD, however, are working to figure out how to make the day run as smoothly as possible. One tactic they’ve settled on: enlisting celebrities to play Twitter traffic cops. Officer Christopher No, a spokesman for the LAPD, said that the department has have contacted hundreds of celebrities who have 500,000 or more followers on the social media site and asked for their help in getting the word out. Lady Gaga, one of the celebrities contacted, has more than 11 million followers. The police hope the celebrities will send messages before the closure and on the day of the closure to warn their followers to stay away from the 405. Though some have responded to the police’s request, none have tweeted any warnings yet.

“It could be a quiet nice day or it could be bad. We’re just preparing for the worse,” No said.

The closure and the expected gridlock has many in Los Angeles concerned, including four major hospitals, the Los Angeles Times reports. Posie Carpenter, chief administrative officer at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, told the newspaper, the closure would force the hospital to “play roulette with our patients' lives.”

By  |  04:55 PM ET, 06/30/2011

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