Comment on this post

Bastille Day protest leader finds the bottleneck of the week

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.

Western1 “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
Council District. Grate! Great!

“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
the potholes!

“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.

This entry was posted in City Hall, Community Activists, Los Angeles. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Bastille Day protest leader finds the bottleneck of the week

  1. neighborhoodwatchdog says:

    Sun Valley has another stretch like this in front of the San Fernando DWP Generating Station.
    Stephen, what has been the response from the Councilmeber for the area in which this monster road exists when you have asked for repaving?

  2. SoapBoxLA says:

    The article hit the paper on a Friday and City Council President Garcetti’s staff are already on it. Low priority issues becomes high priority when we shine a light on the mediocrity that surrounds us and simply ask for Greatness!
    Steve Hymon reports : The offending street is in the district represented by Los Angeles Council President Eric Garcetti. Today, his communications deputy, Julie Wong, quickly alerted the city’s Bureau of Street Services of the problem, and the agency says it will send someone to investigate early next week.
    Wong said this may be more than a mere pothole — it appears that it’s a failed street. She is going to let us know what Street Services plans to do about it.

  3. David says:

    Thank you Stephen for what you are doing. I commute to work on my bicycle three to four days a week. I have long contended that if the roads were maintained and the traffic laws enforced, an experienced cyclist can easily get around Los Angeles by bike. The reality is that most of the road shoulders I ride on are on their way to becoming what Stephen has pointed out in Hollywood. I ride down Ventura Blvd. most mornings and the right lane is terrible. One cause of this are the MTA buses that run in that lane. I don’t think the roads are engineered for the weight of the buses. Why else would you see cement pads only at the bus stops? I’m not anti-bus, just pointing out an engineering flaw. I also ride over Sepulveda Blvd. to west L.A. This stretch is a “bike route” despite the fact that the “bike lane” goes from 5 feet wide to less than three in many places with no warning at all. My other contention, that if some traffic enforcement were done, ALL the roadways in the city would be safer for cyclists. Sepulveda Blvd. is a speedway in the mornings. I am amazed at the speeds that some cars travel. I have NEVER seen any traffic enforcement on Sepulveda. NEVER. It’s fine to talk about grand plans of bike lanes and Bicycle Boulevards, and we need those too. BUT, if our tax dollars were being used for what they are supposed to be used for(road maintenance and traffic enforcement) cyclists in Los Angeles would have a much more bike friendly city to ride in without a huge investment of public funds.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What exactly will be protested on Bastille Day? Before Ron said he would dump trash on the steps of city hall because he was pissed off about the increase in trash fees.
    But I don’t understand it anymore – he’s so rambling and not cohesive is what he is ranting about. It all seems anti government, but doesn’t have any focus or real purpose…

  5. Anonymous says:

    9:23am, the point of Bastille Day is to protest the failure of city government in Los Angeles. And there’s lots to protest. Time seems to have perfected the failure. As corporate power/developers/and others getting rich off the backs of everyday folks have become more emboldened and entrenched; as more politicians have become downright polished in their corruption and ability to waste taxpayer money; as residents have paid more and received less in services; as quality of life has dropped and the middle class is pushed further and further from the middle, there’s bound to be a backlash, people saying: “Enough!”
    Either that or apathy.
    Apathy and acceptance of the lousy status quo has gotten us nowhere. Fast.
    The pols live in a different stratosphere. It takes a lot to get their attention. It’s time to drive home the message, to quote Howard Beale: ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’

  6. anon says:

    L.A. is a dying city–love Ron’s gallant efforts but little can change the state of the rot in this place. It is outmoded, dysfunctional and being sapped more and more every day by the gang members, crooked pols and mainly, illegals. What happens when the big one hits and millions of illegals line up for food/water/shelter/medicine and the citizens have to wait behind them? There has never been a powder keg as volatile as LA today–it is a true hellhole. Gorgeous day yesterday–Saturday–stuck on the 101 in Hollywood for more than an hour for NOTHING–no accidents, NOTHING.. to do but look at the urban blight–and there’s plenty of it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    As 8:00 a.m. says, our Mexican politicians just don’t get that the anti-illegal movement which has picked up so much steam in recent years isn’t about bigotry or xenophobia or any of the things they claim — it’s about millions of poor people sapping our infrastructure and using billions more in resources from schools to hospitals to welfare, food stamps, free lunches, etc. etc. than they put in. (Which is inevitable when they come here uneducated and poor and reproduce beyond their means, expecting the rest of us to take care of their kids.)
    The Mayor is not as bad as the lefties like Alarcon and Reyes, maybe because he has to answer to the big money interests who don’t want their own quality of life dragged down, while at the same time, want to look “color blind” by choosing a man of color for Mayor, like the “liberal elite” were intent on choosing a man of color for President. However, he doesn’t “get it” either. He’s quoted in the current Jewish Journal about his trip to Israel, saying Israelis are building a wall to keep out those who want to destroy them, while in America, we’re building a wall “to keep out those who want to come and take care of our babies.” But the middle class does NOT want illegals coming here to take care of our babies, we want to raise them ourselves, speaking English. We don’t want the many kids of the maids and gardeners taking up the space in our formerly decent pubic schools (they’re 3/4 the population now, and virtually all qualify for free lunches and other poverty aid). They’re 3/4 of the live births in our hospitals, and why citizens down on their luck without health insurance, have to wait for many hours at clinics and why the clinics are all bankrupt or closing. This is why our city is the worst prepared for a catastrophic health crisis like a terror attack or SARS or flu outbreak.
    You can talk about “being compassionate” to illegals, but denying compassion to the middle class who have lost these basic rights despite taxes going up and up, especially on struggling homeowners, and in fact calling them racist and bigoted, is what has made them angry and divides this city. At least admit the financial and social costs, stop telling us what a huge social service the illegals are providing. Most middle class don’t want and can’t afford a third-world society where they have maids to raise their kids, while society pays to educate them and give them free healthcare and benefits intended for citizens.
    The fact is, we will have this Mayor for another term, because no one will run against him. He’s got the big money and power brokers behind him, other possible contenders have announced they’re not running. Only Caruso is still telling the Times he might, but he’s clearly not serious — and a run would trot out his very dirty laundry, like how he came by his money in the first place: a 1958 L A Times article details how his father was fined and jailed for fraud relating to a used car business he owned, as “the Great Caruso.”
    We just want this Mayor to do what he claims, and serve ALL the people, “even” the non-Latino middle class.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>