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09/03/2009: "Hudson River: Hope of Progress?"

The "Hudson River," after its second "repair" in four years....
We're speaking of the "Hudson River" in Los Angeles, an apparently eternal flow of water where Hudson crosses 4th Street, one of the more highly-trafficked bike routes in the city. It flows enough to grow algae in the warm months (which in LA is most of them), and the slippery stuff has caused a number of cyclists to crash there.

Beside feeding the algae, the water constantly undermines the roadway, requiring repeated, costly, and ineffective repairs. The high water table (a stream has been culverted under it) causes water to seep into a basement half a block up Hudson, and the owners of the house pump it out into the street-- a flow that continues day in and day out, and has for at least fifteen years that I know of. Compounded by the overwatering of lawns and gardens typical of the rich folks who live in that area, and who laugh at the DWP's fines for water wasting. (We are in the tenth year of yet another drought.)

The DWP says it can't do anything about the sump pumps, so I've suggested to them and to the Bureau of Street Services here that they at least put in a slotted drain channel at 4th, to prevent the water from pooling and feeding the algae.

And now, six weeks after my second--or was third?--contact, I received the following from BSS:
Your electronic message to the Bureau of Street Services, dated 7/14/2009, concerning a constant water flow at the intersection of 4th and Hudson, has been received by the Investigation and Enforcement Division.

Sr. Investigator Morales has been assigned to inspect the location and provide you with a report on the steps that have been/will be taken to resolve this matter.
So maybe, just maybe, this prime bike route--which the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is striving to have designated as LA's first "bicycle boulevard"--will actually lose this hazard that has been threatening, and harming, cyclists for half a generation!

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