Fix It Last: LADOT Closes Shop on Mulholland

2_22_10_mulholland.jpgClosed indefinitely.

Tom Petty’s days of "gliding down over Mulholland" are at an end, at least for the foreseeable future.

The LA_Now blog covers the sad reality of what happens when a government chooses endless expansion of road capacity for automobiles over a "Fix-It-First" strategy of maintaining and improving the roads that you have.  On February 8th, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation had to close a stretch of Mulholland Drive just east of Coldwater Canyon because the rain had, in the words of the’ LA Now blog "after heavy rains began washing away silt from under the road surface
producing a depression 35 feet wide and 10 feet deep."  Over the weekend, they announced that the nearly one mile stretch of Mulholland, between Bowmont Drive and Skyline Drive, will be closed indefinitely because the city currently doesn’t have the money set aside to repair the road.

We’ve noted before that the poor state of California’s roads is something known across the country.  We’ve detailed in the past how over the course of the last decade a trucking magazine, the Sierra Club, and the highway lobby have all complained that California has a problem with building more roads than it’s willing to maintain.  A little preventative maintenance goes a long way in making certain that municipalities can avoid costly, both in terms of fiscal and congestion, road closures.

Of course, there’s a chance that this is just a negotiating ploy by the LADOT.  Last July, when Mayor Villaraigosa was ordering departments to find ways to cut back, the LADOT leaked a memo showing a plan to dissolve bikeways and other divisions that are paid for by grants outside the city budget.  Lacking the local connection that departments such as the LAFD and LAPD already have; maybe this is their way of showing how indispensable their budget is.

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