We certainly don’t need anyone to tell us, but the NY Times published an article yesterday declaring Los Angeles streets some of the worst in the nation. The story points to a study from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials that found 64% of roads in LA are in poor condition and 28% are mediocre at best. But we know that – you choose any of the six lanes east or west on Wilshire and risk bending your tire rim, throwing your steering out of alignment or chipping a front tooth from all the jarring potholes the boulevard has to offer.
There is a plan in the works though, we just have to wait a couple more years. Evidently, the repaving of Wilshire is tied to the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project which intends to define a rapid bus lane along 12.5 miles of Wilshire Blvd. According to DOT, the funds from the Federal Transit Administration are in place, the environmental reports are almost finished, and design is underway.“It will take approximately 18-24 months to complete all the design plans for the pavement reconstruction (between Western Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard) and street widening (between Federal Avenue and Barrington Avenue). Construction is expected to start in the mid-2013 and complete in 2015.”
According to the Metro website, the BRT project will convert existing curb lanes in the City of Los Angeles to bus and right-turn only operation during peak traffic periods on weekdays (7-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m.) According to our sources in CD4, it’s expected that this will mean full repaving of the segment of Wilshire Blvd that passes through the Hancock Park area as it’s in such poor condition. They’ll also re-stripe and upgrade curbs and signage as necessary.
Makes you wonder though, why the NY Times chose to feature a two-year old traffic study yesterday. Could it be they need to give their readers, shivering on the east coast, something negative to say about us on the ‘other coast’? After all, we did suffer through another glorious January weekend of balmy temperatures and sunshine (even if we may have to pay for it in auto repair bills.)
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The City Maven blog reports that Controller Wendy Gruel, dubbed the Pothole Queen, recognized in an interview that pledging to pave Wilshire, “a brilliant but impractical promise”, would certainly help in a bid for the mayoral race. See http://tinyurl.com/78ad8h5.