Repavement and Regret


 

For those whose intimate, internal bodily movements and outer mobility are regulated by motor vehicle, this was a weekend of challenge and frustration.

Without official warning, or public service announcement, Victory Boulevard, all eight lanes of it, were repaved between Kester and Sepulveda. It was possibly the first time it had been improved since all the pepper trees were ripped out in 1955 for its first widening.

In the historical traditions of Van Nuys, the new Victory Boulevard project will come without any amenities: no bike lanes, no center median of trees, no decorative lighting, no plantings and no safe crosswalks.

In our neighborhood, just north of Victory, between Kester and Sepulveda, the repaving anger was palpable, the pain deep, the suffering great.

For there is a large colony of culinarily disabled people on our street.

Large house payments prevent ownership of non-essentials, like coffee makers, so many of our neighbors, on weekends, get out of bed, slip into their SUVs in their pajamas, and drive three minutes to McDonalds, on Kester and Victory, to get scalding, industrial, assembly line coffee in Styrofoam and bring it back home. For them, the inability to drive to the drive-in was cruel.

At LA Fitness, on Sepulveda near Erwin, a new mall is under construction on the north side, and there are also orange pylons blocking the parking lot entrance, which affects members at the gym by consuming valuable parking spaces.

Yesterday, I saw an angry, old, black-haired woman driving around the parking lot of the gym in her prune purple,’71 Chevy Nova, unable to find a spot. Her mouth was spitting out a torrent of obscenities, her hands were like death grips around the neck of the steering wheel, she braked and accelerated in fits and jerks. She simply could not find a place for her car.

Minutes earlier, a convoy of young moms met up for dance class and took up six handicapped parking spaces at the gym but the  Angry Old Woman in the Nova knew nothing.

A normal weekend on Victory Boulevard is full of nocturnal sirens, from ambulances, police and fire. Usually at least one person is shot by gun or run over by car, or a speeding, intoxicated driver flips over and is either gravely injured or killed. Bank robbers, who usually arrive by car, found no work these past two days at Chase or Wells Fargo on Sepulveda at Victory.

All the workaday business of the boulevard terminated.

This past weekend was eerily quiet. The lack of danger, the absence of tragedy, upset many who live along the eight-lane speedway. There was only a thick scrim of dust, on Saturday, to remind people that Victory exists to pollute and desecrate.

When Victory Boulevard does not move with motorists, the people are alarmed, and demand a return to normality, which the repaved roadway promises to bring back tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “Repavement and Regret

  1. I should have pointed out Andy’s own eloquence in his writing/s. It appears he keeps rising (as a writer) with each new occasion? So I truly hope and wish for him much success in his endeavors. I note that the internet has already managed to match, if not surpass one mammoth part of living in the real world; even now, there are those who go online and take…they take anything and everything that is free to them. But few are willing to give/share/help out their fellow men/women who may be in severe need. in fact, the stories of such people are likely to be most read, as the narcissistic tendency of the many is further emboldened for the sake of the few!

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  2. Meanwhile, back on Hartsook between Kester and C4edros, the DWP has been working a mammoth project installing approximately 1400 feet of new water pipes. Unlike the regular city workers, these DWP fellows are so efficient as to almost draw my sympathy/compassion for their efforts. They began at the east end, after having lined out the entire length of the pipeline from end to end. Next up was having the Gas Comp[any mark every single gas pipe coming off street to properties. With all this done, the street was cut up-in sections/over a week’s time-and then pipes were laid down. Giant metal grates covered the open pits before they had finished. In the end, the entire pipe running from Cedros back to Kester was completed. I then watched them adding in a new fire hydrant on my property while the old one remained in place. At the end of the week, they left. My only query was kindly answered by them, but it was shocking beyond belief. After reading your comments about the mentally strained human beings living throughout our Valley, I realized the tie-in. So the pipes were laid, they then poured cement over them and finished with a layer of asphalt on top. The pipes were rod iron with a plastic coating. Meanwhile, the original pipes are between the new ones and the south side of Hartsook. Yup, you got it. So as not to inconvenience the residents, they will return next week and then cut out a form in front of every single resident, where their water lines are connected to the old lines. They will then cut off the water and individually change the property-to-street lines from the old pipes to the new ones…recutting back into those new water lines one by one. All that is being done so as not to inconvenience the property owners. I was blown away by such customer service and caring. I’m not sure there might have been a better way, but certainly, one that would have taken up less time for those guys. And this way likely will cost about a third more in labor. What an unbelievable effort? Meanwhile, I can imagine the wags out there-always looking to criticize everybody and everything-that they had just recently repaved the entire two-block area and now it is torn right back up again 😉

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