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Roadway Conditions
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Used to be you could drive the speed limit with confidence. Sure, you'd occasionally come across a fallen tree branch or a dead animal or something that fell off the back of a truck, but for the most part you could traverse the roadway with confidence that the posted speed limit was appropriate for road conditions (assuming good weather).

Not so any more, not in Los Angeles anyway. There are great potholes gouged out of the pavement. There are raised sections of concrete where MTA buses have regular stops. There are ridged areas at stoplights (usually at major intersections) where the pavement melted, softened, in the excruciating heat of late summer and was re-formed by cars coming to a hard stop, or popping the clutch to lurch forward on the green.

And that's not counting the places where storm drains or utility pipes are being fixed, so the pavement is covered over by steel plates. There is one place, on a street that is marked for 45 mph, where the steel plates do not lie flat on the roadway and your tires slam into the sharp edge. You dare not drive the speed limit.

No wonder the tire stores and repair shops are doing a brisk business in this city on wheels, even during a recession.

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