Hooray for urban cyclist Stephen Box who’s the lead organizer for the July 14 Bastille Day protest at City Hall. He won this week’s L.A. Times’ Bottleneck Blog contest by submitting this photo and report on a Hollywood traffic hazard you wouldn’t believe.
“This patch of roadway abomination is found on Western Avenue, northbound approaching Lexington. It is part of a much larger network
of roadway cracks, gaps and holes that keep Western Avenue cyclists
“It wasn’t until a bus rolled by that I realized that the pothole was
actually a series of asphalt islands that “floated” or moved
independently of each other, offering a sophisticated “suspension”
quality to the roadway, evidence that perhaps this was not simply
another pothole network but perhaps an experimental LADOT roadway
innovation! The “comfort lane!”
“The roadway is so broken that the safest place to ride is out to the left edge of the curb lane,
maintaining a straight line and controlling the lane. The cyclist above
demonstrates the correct lane positioning for Western Avenue. This is
true for many of the larger boulevards in the area, from Vermont and Western to Hollywood and Sunset.
“To those who might argue that the cyclist should give up the lane
to motor vehicle traffic and ride the gutter pan, another obstacle
awaits! Granted, the city of Los Angeles has a grate replacement
program under way, but it only covers an average of 5 grates per
“Ultimately, I’d gladly trade all the promises of a network of
bikeways in the sweet by-and-by for a simple roadway maintenance
program that puts a priority on keeping the curb lanes ridable. The big
streets really can work for many, they actually get across town,
there’s space, when traffic is flowing it’s a great place to ride…but
“Clean up the curb lane, it’s good for cyclists and that is good for all of us!”
This is one of the many reasons Stephen has gotten involved in trying to make L.A. a great city instead of a pothole hell without anywhere near the number of bike lanes a great city of the 21st century should have.
What do you think is wrong with L.A.? What do you want to see happen that would make it the city you think is great? When will you get mad enough to do something about it?
People from all over L.A. are committed to coming to City Hall to air their gripes at noon July 14 and help launch the Saving L.A. Project — S.L.A.P. — a citywide coalition of concerned citizens who are ready to work together to Take Back L.A. and Demand A Great City.