Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

The Concrete – Asphalt Patchwork of Local Streets

Asphalt meets concrete on many local streets that are now a patchwork of original concrete and quick-fix asphalt.
Asphalt meets concrete on many local streets that are now a patchwork of original concrete and quick-fix asphalt.

The greater Hancock Park area is known for its high-end historic homes, and also for its crummy streets. The LA Times compiled a report in May 2013 showing the area rated an outstanding “D-” , with more than half the streets rating an “F”. As our cars and bikes lurch into potholes and bump over swelling asphalt, you can’t help but wonder what bureaucracy and funding limits are preventing the repair and improvement of  our roads.

Aaron Blevins wrote an interesting article this week published in The Park LaBrea News & Beverly Press  interviewing Cindy Chvatal-Keane, president of the Hancock Park Homeowners Association on the concrete versus asphalt conundrum. The streets were originally poured in concrete and the Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ), which preserves the historic nature of the community, requires that the streets  be repaired in concrete. Problem is, the City no longer has the equipment or resources to repair our streets with poured concrete.

For the time being the Bureau of Street Services is repairing potholes with asphalt fill, and Chvatal-Keane notes “It’s like early Christmas” when the streets get the temporary repairs. But a solution has to be figured out, and Chvatal-Keane is quoted in the Park LaBrea News & Beverly Press:

“What we’re trying to do as a neighborhood is figure out a way to either create an assessment district … to repair in concrete or figure out a way to repair in asphalt and resurface in asphalt,” she said, adding that the association has picked up the tab on a number of services the city once offered, such as tree trimming.

Chvatal-Keane said the assessment would be based on a formula that would factor in square footage, among other things. She said the association hopes to have a survey sent out to residents in the next few weeks.

The homeowners association is also looking into “cool pavement” and other alternatives that are durable and look like concrete. Cool pavement refers to paving materials that reflect more solar energy, enhance water evaporation and remain cooler than conventional pavements, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

However, while the group determines whether it has a consensus for an assessment, it needs the city to provide cost estimates for the work, Chvatal-Keane said.

Information on what streets are scheduled for repair can be found at the Bureau of Street Services website.

Larchmont Buzz: Hancock Park Streets Rated D

A concrete patch from earlier years.
A concrete patch from earlier years.
An degraded asphalt repair on McCadden and 4th streets.
A degraded asphalt repair on McCadden and 4th streets.


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Julie Grist
Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

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  1. My block was concrete when I moved in and it was SO MUCH BETTER than black top because:
    1. People drove more slowly (all those natural speed bumps)
    2. It wasn’t as dark at night
    3. It wasn’t as hot on hot summer days
    4. And concrete lasts so much longer.

  2. I was thinking about this today — actually I think about it every morning on the way to the office. The worst stretch of pothole-ridden asphalt is on Highland, the inside lane going south — between 4th all the way to Wilshire.

  3. Good luck to Cindy and the HPHA in finding the right solution. Improved payment throughout Hancock Park (and Windsor Square) would be a huge step forward for the most beautiful community in the city. (And maybe someday we can have first-world sidewalks and bike lanes. So tired of bicyclists up on the sidewalks. Incomprehensible to me that this is legal. LA apparently just has a thing against people who walk?)

  4. The bad state of repair of the streets is only half of it. I had a blowout on Wilshire heading east just west of Rossmore by hitting a pothole that was almost as deep as the Grand Canyon. It cost me more than $500 including a realignment, so I submitted a claim to the City. About 3 months later it was denied and I later found out that the City routinely denies claims for pothole damage even though it is clearly liable because they want people to have to go through the time and expense of filing a lawsuit, which they realize most won’t want to do. They were right with me because it wasn’t worth it, but it is a despicable practice and our City Councilman should do something about it. We have a new City Attorney now and maybe he will do something about it, too.


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