COMPTON (CBSLA) – Two months after "2 On Your Side" exposed a serious pothole problem on Compton streets, city leaders and residents got together Thursday evening to discuss how to address the problem.
U.S. Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-Compton) hosted a town hall meeting to allow all sides to discuss what is being done to solve the problem. Frustrated residents said they have been complaining for years that their streets need to be repaved, but say those complaints have fallen on deaf ears.
They said potholes have become such a problem that their cars are being damaged and driving is becoming dangerous. They believe the potholes are also slowing down first responders rushing to help residents.
"I know I have to zigzag through the streets going home, and it's very difficult," Jerome Walker said. "And my vehicle is damaged. Who has the time, who has the money to go ahead get these things fixed immediately? People just don't have the time and money. The city of Compton should be responsible to fix these vehicles immediately."
Barragan explained to CBS2 how residents are frustrated that Measure P money has not been used to fix roads. Measure P was approved by Compton voters in June of 2016 and increased the city sales tax by 1 percent.
"They are already using federal funding, generally money that goes to community development block grants for other things, they're using that for streets here," Barragan said. "But they're not seeing the Measure P money, which a lot of residents believed was going to go just to streets, that's not being done. So, they're going to be frustrated to hear that's not being done."
At Thursday's meeting, Compton City Manager Cecil W. Rhambo Jr. told the crowd that repaving projects have started and there will be more.
The entire L.A. metropolitan area has struggled with poor roads for years. Back in April of 2015, the city of L.A. settled a lawsuit from disabled residents and their advocates and agreed to spend $1.4 billion over the next 30 years to repair the city's sidewalks.
A report from the nonprofit transportation group TRIP last October found that 57 percent of all major roads in the combined L.A.-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area were in poor condition, which ranked third in the nation behind only San Jose (64 percent) and San Francisco (71 percent). Furthermore, drivers in the L.A.-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area spend an average of $921 extra per year on repairs, maintenance and fuel consumption due to the bad road conditions. That ranked fourth in the country behind only San Francisco ($1,049), San Jose ($983) and Milwaukee ($944).
Earlier this month, the L.A. City Council unanimously approved a motion to actively explore ways to fund major repair work in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics.
Barragan said that any Compton residents who are having problems with potholes, or who want to file a claim for damage to their cars, should contact her office. However, residents told CBS2 that process is entirely too difficult.
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