Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Support for KPCC comes from:

Councilman pushes for faster pothole repair after winter storms

Two deep potholes at the corner of First Street and Glendale Boulevard near downtown L.A.
Meghan McCarty KPCC
Two deep potholes at the corner of First Street and Glendale Boulevard near downtown L.A.

Potholes joined mudslides, flooding and traffic woes as symptoms plaguing Los Angeles-area roadways after a series of winter storms rolled over Southern California, with three of them striking the region in the past week.

The surge in potholes following the storms has led L.A. City Councilman Bob Blumenfield to urge the city to act faster when it comes to pothole repair.

Earlier this week, Blumenfield introduced a motion for the council to "instruct the Bureau of Street Services to report on the time and process for the repair of potholes and the funding that may be required to decrease the amount of time for such repairs." The motion also calls for Caltrans to fix freeway and highway potholes and to report back within 60 days.

Blumenfeld notes that on a regular dry day,  the Bureau of Street Services gets about 30 reports of potholes per day. In December, as the rain started to come, that number rose to 45. During the recent storms, the bureau received about 125 calls about potholes per day.

"The good news is that pothole fixing is something the city can do, knows how to do ... gotten down to a quick turnaround," he said, noting that before the storms, potholes were fixed in about two to four days. That number has risen to five to seven days following the storm.

"We've been able to do it, we're getting it done but with this dramatic increase we've got to put more folks out there," he said. 

Using available tech can also help. Blumenfeld touted the MyLA311 phone app, which people can use to report potholes they encounter. 

"In the last couple of years, we've put that app on steroids," he said. "You see a pothole, you press a button on your phone and the geolocation is sent to the Bureau of Street Services." The bureau, Blumenfield says, was also recently issued about 100 mobile tablets so they can get reports in real time.

Here's how to report a pothole or to file a claim for damage if your car gets damaged driving over a pothole:

Call 3-1-1 (or 213-473-3231 outside the Los Angeles area) or use the app to report a pothole.

In cities other than L.A., call:

Beverly Hills: (310) 285-2467
Culver City: (310) 253.6420  
Santa Monica: (310) 458-2252 or (310) 458-8505

If your car is damaged from a pothole, take pictures of your car and the pothole then fill out and submit a claim form with the city to be reimbursed.

Check out these tips for having your claim approved.

The city also has a guide to potholes, which you can see here.