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Software Keeping LA Streets at Just 64 Percent Crappy

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If you have been anywhere near City Hall in the past few years you have probably heard someone utter the phrase "Doing more with less." Congratulations to clever humans for inventing that sound bite, but it's usually computers that deliver the results. The most recent example of technology smoothing out our rough edges comes from a Daily News story about the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services's efforts to maintain the well-trafficked 28,000 lane miles of streets in this city. According to the DN: "Street Services relies on a computer program called MicroPaver to determine which streets should be resurfaced. The department surveyed 70,000 blocks and rated them from 0 for failed to 100 for excellent. The department plugs in the paving budget figure and MicroPaver suggests how to use the money most efficiently to extend the life of the street network." All of which raises the question, if MicroPaver is really so great, why can't it pay for the whole shebang too?

Kidding aside, Nazario Sauceda, interim director of the Bureau of Street Services, told the DN that the system is working--after decades of decline, "the average condition of the network" has been kept up for six years now.

That's good to hear because an April 2010 DN article quoted Mayor Villaraigosa predicting the opposite: "I can tell you that with cuts and particularly with layoffs, there will be a diminution of city services, including the filling of potholes, the trimming of trees." The 2010 article also stated that LA residents spend $746 each year on repairs for the wear and tear caused by the city's potholes, which is the most of any metropolitan area in the country.

And the six years of average street conditions? In 2010, 64 percent of LA's roads were graded as poor. Main image via KABC
· Method to madness in repaving L.A. roads [Daily News]
· Potholes could prove costly for Los Angeles [Daily News]