“Operation Pothole” Is Back, Make Sure Our Bike/Bus Streets Get Fixed

Yup, that's a pothole. Photo: ##http://www.flickr.com/photos/15113857@N05/sets/72157625475270199/show/with/5261792863/##SEIU LA/Flickr##

Remember back in January when the City of Los Angeles launched “Operation Pothole” to repair 10,000 potholes over one weekend?  Apparently the City had so much fun, they decided to do it all over again, this time with twice as many crews filling twice as many holes on June 4th and 5th.

Without going in to a debate on whether special events to fill potholes in a city with 4,000 square miles of land full full of damaged streets is an effective plan, let’s focus on getting many of those 20,000 potholes filled on bike routes, bike lanes, and bus routes.  Over the next week, take note of where the worst asphalt craters are in your commute and make sure to let the city know where these commuter traps are.  The cynic in me wanted to suggest we only report potholes on Wilshire west of Beverly Hills, but I’m pretty sure the staffers fielding the Operation Pothole calls wouldn’t get the joke.

The LADOT Bike Blog has the details on how to call in a pothole to the city to get it filled.

  1. Identify the location of the pothole by Address or Intersection
  2. Call 3-1-1 (Narrated by Mayor Villaraigosa, himself with music during the wait by the Los Angeles Philharmonic!) -or- Call BSS at (213) 473-4183
  3. Report online at  http://bss.lacity.org/request.htm

If you are calling, they will enter the request into the system between the hours of 7am and 4pm. After 4pm, someone will be available to take your request, but it will not be entered into the system until the next day.

I got some great notes from my Bike to Work Day ride with Mom about some potholes on Venice Avenue.  I’ll let you know if the City gets around to them.  If you have any particularly nasty potholes you want to share with the world, leave the details in the comments section.

  • The LA Bureau of Street Services claims that they are chronically underfunded, and looking at the streets of LA, I tend to agree:

    “During the last ten years, the Bureau’s average Annual Resurfacing
    Budget has been approximately $45 million, which only represents
    approximately 15.8 percent of the required network maintenance.” [1]

    Fixing streets when they are already severely deteriorated is much more expensive than maintaining them before they break down. The focus on potholes scores short-term political points, but does nothing meaningful to address the long-term need for more street maintenance funding. It might even be counterproductive to focus too much on potholes, since it takes money away from more cost-effective maintenance.

    BSS’s plan to bring the streets back to decent shape would cost $2.9 billion over ten years.

    [1] http://www.ci.la.ca.us/boss/State_Streets/StateOfTheStreets.htm

  • I’ve seen a number of streets getting repaved in the last couple months in Central LA along Wilshire and along Olympic between Ktown and DTLA.  Makes a big difference.  Now if we can just get Wilshire done.

  • Let Them Eat Bike Lanes

    If we would start reducing the number of car-only lanes by converting them into bike lanes, we’d have less wear and tear to triage every year. “No more new roads” and “Take care of what you’ve got!” should be our new road slogans. In Bogota, the government couldn’t afford to lavish money on car-only roads – so they let them rot. Instead, they built libraries, parks, bike lanes, and a world class BRT system.

    I know everyone in LA lives in the suburbs … except for the millions that don’t! This whole car-only system needs to be addressed directly in the coming years. It is expensive, deadly, and noisy and the alternatives are much cheaper, more civil, and more humane.

    Operation Pothole is lame in this context. We need some mayoral leadership that gets LA’s CEQA guidelines reformed to allow lane removals on our roads without expensive environmental clearances. It is more than an environmental, bicycle, livable streets issue – it strikes at the core of our budget woes and the delivery of services by local government.

  • Yardley

    Wilshire needs repaving from the City Center all the way to the beach as there are more potholes than pavement. A true disaster for the most important street in LA.

  • Yardley

    Wilshire needs repaving from the City Center all the way to the beach as there are more potholes than pavement. A true disaster for the most important street in LA.

  • John H.

    Alley south of Melrose, between Stanley & Curson Aves.


    “Potholes” is putting it mildly, as they are
    numerous and pervasive here, stretching from one end of the alley to the other.


    Many of the alleys adjacent to Melrose, between Fairfax
    & LaBrea, have had not just a pothole here or there, but an entire SYSTEM
    of potholes, seemingly endless — FOR MANY YEARS. They are unnavigable, and
    look worse than any potholes in any poor, desolate, war-torn country.