The Annual Game of Whack-a-(Pot)Hole

Pothole on Figueroa at 6th St. downtown (across from the Jonathan Club), reported to the city by this reporter.

Only three things are sure in life: death, taxes, and potholes.  Against the latter, the gods themselves struggle in vain, or so it sometimes seems… but we have photographic proof the city will fix ’em if you ask nicely.

Recent storms dumped a year’s worth of rain in a few weeks, transforming worn-out streets into Swiss cheese.  Rather than simply curse at each bone-jarring bump, this reporter took to also pulling over to report them to 311.  (You can do this by calling 311, by visiting myla311.lacity.org, or via the My311 app for Android or iPhone.)  The cell phone app has the advantage that it lets you also submit a geotagged picture, and it seems to help — if they can see the hole is big enough to potentially damage a wheel, they’re more motivated to fix it.  They fixed the pothole shown above in ten days.  So, intrepid reader, next time you’re annoyed by having to dodge a pothole, submit a “Small Asphalt Repair” request with the MyLA311 app.  You’ll be glad you did.

And if you’re asking why the city doesn’t fix the dang things on their own, well, they’re in the middle of a four-weekend blitz to do just that, thanks to $250,000 of Measure M funding and a motion by Councilwoman Nuri Martinez (see also her talk on the subject).  This past Sunday, crews were seen fixing holes on Western, Crenshaw and several other major local streets.   This should provide some welcome relief…and if they miss anything, you know the drill.

Eventually, AI-equipped cameras might do some of the reporting, but for now, it’s our job as citizens.

Figueroa pothole – filled after being reported to MyLA311.

Aside: looks like someone at KFI has seen the movie Roma, judging by the stock photo they chose for their pothole story

Update: just heard about someone who says they had to buy a new tire after running into a pothole on the south side of Wilshire, between Fairfax and La Brea — “brand new car, new tire, very expensive”.   So please do report those potholes – the tire you save may be your own, or your neighbor’s.

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About Daniel Kegel

Dan Kegel is a software engineer and a member of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council's Sustainability Committee. He also volunteers with Citizens' Climate Lobby Los Angeles and is an occasional contributor to the Buzz.

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