Temescal Canyon Road was once again inaccessible to drivers on March 31 with less than 24-hour notice to the Council Office. Street Services were laying asphalt for the second time in three months on the same stretch of road.
CTN received word from Traci Park’s Field Deputy Michael Amster after 7 p.m. on March 30. “Just so you know, I’m expecting a crew to begin completing the Temescal street work tomorrow. That’s what the transportation department stated.”
CTN wrote back: “The lack of notice to the community of a road closure of a major thoroughfare is appalling. Three thousand kids use that road to get to Palisades High School, Monday through Friday. Why not wait until next week? Spring break starts the first week of April.”
CTN reminded the field deputy that there are only three ways in and out of Pacific Palisades: Chautauqua, Sunset and Temescal.
Amster replied on March 31, “Thank you for raising your concerns, they are both legitimate and important for our office to address.
“It is absolutely not lost upon me that the community deserved proper notice before the work was completed. However, the conditions required BSS to act immediately. Starting in April, BSS would no longer have an encroachment permit from CalTrans to complete the work on the road. Thus, the work needed to be done in March, and with re-scheduling complications caused by the unprecedented rains, the only time afforded to the department was today.”
Since November, when the road was initially paved, CTN has been trying to track down why the road needed to be repaved, again, and at what cost to taxpayers. (Reporters are not allowed to question individual politicians or heads of departments but must go through a public spokesperson.)
On December 19, CTN sent a note to Bureau of Street Services spokesperson Paul Gomez and cc’d the message to Councilmember Traci Park, noting that the newly redone road had a “lip.” CTN asked about the striping, which appeared to be incorrect on one side of the road.
On December 20, Gomez responded “For your first question, we are going to have someone go out and inspect the ‘lip in the asphalt.’
“In terms of the striping, that is a question for the Department of Transportation. You can reach out to: email@example.com.”
Then there was silence until March 4, when a sole sign warned of a closure between Bowdoin and PCH. The asphalt laid in November was scraped on the lower portion of Temescal. Rain on March 5 stopped the crews from putting down asphalt, again.
CTN reached out to Gomez by phone and by email on March 5 and asked: “Why is this road being redone? Who is paying for the redo? When will the new asphalt go down?
On March 9, Gomez responded with an email “We did receive your email and phone call and are following up on your inquiry.”
Four days later, Gomez responded and said Temescal Canyon Road was part of CD 11’s annual street resurfacing. He also said weather prevented laying asphalt on March 5.
Gomez did not say why it was being redone or the cost but promised that the Council Office would be notified of any future work.
Gomez was reminded that same day that the road had been completely redone in November as part of the street resurfacing. That residents wanted to know who was paying for the new “redo” and when it would be completed.
No response, so CTN sent a March 23 follow-up email to Gomez and cc’d the councilmember’s office: “Hope everything is going well–the bottom half of Temescal Canyon Road is like driving in a pasture, right now–bumpy and rough–but on the positive side- it does stop people from speeding.”
This editor once again asked for a possible date for completion of Temescal and the cost to taxpayers to have the road redone.
A March 31 email came back from Gomez, saying he was out of the office on Friday, even as the road was being redone.