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Reader Rant: Sticky Wilshire Boulevard Tar A Pain. Potentially Unhealthy?

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Ah, nothing like the fresh smell of tar. A grievance from a reader who is up to her ears in the sticky stuff: "I work in the Miracle Mile, on Wilshire across from the Tar Pits. Over the years of working in this area, I am perpetually amazed at the geological phenomena of tar seeping out from all cracks at the corner of Wilshire Blvd and Curson Ave, and moreover, the city’s inability to do anything about it. The Wilshire/Curson corner has tar in the street, crosswalks, and manholes. In the summer, it bubbles up, sticky and mucky, and in the winter it’s somewhat solidified. But no matter what time of year, it’s stinky. Worker bees many times just keep walking right through it, leaving shoe-prints down Wilshire. School groups of little kids ooh and ahh over the stuff--but I’m just waiting one day to see a petrified child, stuck in tar, crying out like the poor mastodon at the Page Museum. How can the city let this go on for so long?"

Last summer, I did see some (city/county/state?) workers at the stinky corner assessing the situation. They had construction hats and “Hazardous Material” emblazoned on their vests, but nothing has really improved. If this truly is a haz mat issue, then are all of us that work on the Miracle Mile huffing toxic methane all day? (btw – our business, as I think all I the area required to have, has a methane detector). And how much warning will I have before our block of Wilshire explodes due to methane?" [Photo via Flickr user jrozwado]