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Rare sight in L.A.: City work crew repairs badly buckled sidewalk

By all appearances, the city of Los Angeles now has a new standard for when it will send a crew to fix buckled sidewalks. If a newspaper columnist can disappear inside the cave created by uplifted pavement, it's a go.

I got word last night that an emissary from the city's Urban Forestry Department had paid a visit to Saturn Street near Pico and Beverwil to inspect one of the most badly damaged sidewalks in the city. The cause of the trouble was, as usual, surface roots from a tree that hasn't been properly maintained by the city, which now prunes trees every 45 years.

Then, this morning, I began getting emails from the neighborhood notifying me that crews were on the scene.

"The repair crew is also repairing the sidewalk up the street three houses from mine. Excellent!" wrote John Ong, who owns the house with what might have been the worst sidewalk in a city with roughly 4,500 miles of bad sidewalk.

I had discussed the decade-long disaster Tuesday with Mayor Eric Garcetti, and an aide told me the mayor ordered the repairs after my Wednesday column. The column included a photo of me lying under the pavement, as if disappearing into the gaping jaws of municipal ineptitude.

I drove out this morning to see that although the root problems do not appear to have been addressed, and the fix is therefore only temporary, this is a small step for man as we await a giant leap from the new mayoral administration.

My promise to you:

If you have a sidewalk cave, or pothole, large enough for me to crawl into, shoot me an email and I will try to crawl inside at my earliest convenience.

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@LATstevelopez

steve.lopez@latimes.com

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