The Bumpy Route to L.A. Road Repair

Ben Poston investigates Los Angeles's "60-year backlog of failed streets." A strategy designed to pave over the disparities between council districts means that the most damaged of the city's 6,500 miles of paved roadway get fixed last.
May 6, 2013, 12pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"A Times analysis of street inspection data found wide disparities in road quality among the city's 114 neighborhoods," says Poston. "The differences are not driven by wealth or political power. In fact, some of the poorest parts of the city have some of the best roads."

"The heart of the problem is aging streets, heavy traffic, undulating terrain and the sheer size of the network," he explains. "The streets in the poorest shape tend to be in hillside neighborhoods, such as the Hollywood Hills, Mount Washington, Los Feliz and Bel-Air."

"But layered on top of those problems is a street repair strategy that bypasses the worst streets in favor of preserving salvageable ones. Street officials have also made a political decision to bring the overall grade of roads in each City Council district to the same level."

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Published on Saturday, May 4, 2013 in Los Angeles Times
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