Though not as egregious as the illegal dumping or littering perpetrated by humans, Mother Nature has been doing her share of dirtying Los Angeles streets and alleys with overgrown weeds and brush. It was a fight the city is losing too. Many of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods have completely lost access to sidewalks and alleyways due to overgrown plants and weeds. But now the city is fighting back with the help of an unprecedented city database.
Armed with access to a trove of city data, LA's Bureau of Sanitation is about to start whacking weeds at an epic clip. After combing the streets of LA for months in search of the streets and alleyways most in need of cleaning, sanitation workers are now consulting their custom map of the weediest streets in the city and knocking them out one by one. Now you too, thanks to the Daily News, can follow along with this map of the most overgrown neighborhoods in the city.
It's all part of LA's extensive grading of its city streets for cleanliness. Every street and alleyway in the city was visited by sanitation officials, and given a grade of 1 to 3 based on the amount of loose litter, bulky items, weeds, and illegal dumping found there. That information was then compiled into the city's GeoHub open data portal and mapped out. Equipped with a diagnostic of the sanitation needs of every street in the city, LA can go about cleaning in a highly efficient manner, focusing first on the worst culprits and sizing up the needs of the job beforehand to avoid delays.
LA's worst area for weeds is in South LA. The Empowerment Congress Southwest Area Neighborhood Council district, which encompasses the southwest tip of Council District 8, scored a 1.7 on LA's weeds index with dozens of individual streets and alleyways in the district given a grade of 3. Other surrounding neighborhood council districts were also found to have an abnormally high amount of weeds in streets and alleyways. Empowerment Congress Central Area Neighborhood Council (1.64), Watts Neighborhood Council (1.58) Voices of 90037 (1.52) and the Harbor Gateway Neighborhood Council Districts, both north and south (1.58 and 1.43 respectively), also fared poorly.
Farther north, East Hollywood (1.54) and Mid-City (1.46) received the worst weed index grades.
The next step will be a gargantuan one for the city of LA, but one well worth the effort for the plagued neighborhoods. The difference a weed cleanup can make to a blighted neighborhood is actually quite stunning. Take a look at these before and after shots of alleys in Council District 8 that LA Sanitation cleaned up last year.
The Dirtiest Streets in LA, Mapped [Curbed LA]