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05/18/2010: "The More Things Change...."
The more things changes, goes the old saying, the more they remain the same. While cycling has burgeoned in Los Angeles, advocates and activists have crowded city hall as well as the blogosphere, and we have actually won a small victory or two, such as the promised bike corral in Highland Park, dear old 4th Street is still an insult to the wheels and tendons of every rider who rattles down its shattered surface.

Even though it is a designated bike route, heavily used, that runs in part through one of the toniest neighborhoods in the city.

Nearly two years ago, in Boulevard of Broken Wheels, I complained about the horrible paving on this otherwise wonderful street. Look at the pictures in that article, then switch back to this page and view the slideshow'll see that not much has changed.

I have personally gotten the bureau of Street Services to patch the pothole at Hudson and 4th three times--yet the job is always so poorly done that within three months speeding cars and constant wetness have left it even worse than before. It's now about six inches deep, jagged, and eternally filled with water. The rest of the stretch between Cochran and Arden--little more than a mile--is not much better.

What to do? The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has been promoting the conversion of 4th Street into a bicycle boulevard (which would start, but not end, with repaving); I can think of no better treatment for this street that I have bounced along for nearly twenty years now. See what the LACBC has to say about it, and join in the effort.

It would be a first for LA. But if we have any sense, it wouldn't be the last.

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Kent Peterson
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