Saturday, April 6, 2013

Crumbling Thoroughfares

I have harped on this before, but it is astonishing to me how poorly the street maintenance and sidewalk conditions are kept in the City of Los Angeles.  And by this, I don’t mean, within the other smaller incorporated cities such as Burbank, Glendale, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Manhattan Beach and the like, but rather in all of those cities that have those designated names such as Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks, McCarthy Circle, North Hollywood where they are actually a part of the City of Los Angeles.

It is clear that the city of LA doesn’t have the funds to keep up with the needed repairs, but how did this occur?  I was visiting my mother at Ronald Reagan Hospital not long ago, and I parked in that area of Westwood just west of Gayley, but east of Veteran, and to see the war zone-like condition of the sidewalks was just appalling. 

I know the city has more important issues to get over, such as how much of that Christopher Dornan reward money will be paid out.  But for a city that is so much in the public eye to shirk it’s responsibility to keep it’s streets and sidewalks safe and passible is I think a bit shameful.  And while I realize I could offend a lot of people who do currently live in the City of LA, I would hope that any feelings like that would be turned into trying to push the city council to get on the ball with these types of things.

I showed a house today in Valley Village on a street called Van Noord, which is just west of Coldwater Canyon and in the block north of Moorpark Street, a very nice neighborhood, and as I was waiting for my clients to arrive, I suddenly realized how uneven the concrete was that I was standing on.  This is but just one element of why I have chosen to live in smaller incorporated cities in the southland for the past twenty years.  Any of these neglected characteristics and services within a city generally indicates deeper flaws in how the city government and resources are run.  One generally doesn’t see these problems sitting idly in cities such as Burbank and Manhattan Beach.  They are run well, are responsive to calls, and are not overwhelmed by their own sheer size. 

It takes a while to realize this I think, especially for newcomers to the city.  I always wonder how if I moved to another town such as Sante Fe, Portland, or Austin, how long would it take for me to digest these types of nuances within a particular city.  And as for my own insight and understanding of the City of Los Angeles, well, chalk that up to being a native I suppose.  I spent the first five years of my life in the West Adams district of Los Angeles.