The repaving of Chautauqua was addressed yet again by the Pacific Palisades Community Council on Thursday, February 28, when Adel Hagekhalil, the executive director and general manager of the Bureau of Street Services, gave an update on city initiatives for road improvements.
“My commitment to the mayor and to you all is that we want to transform our streets to worldclass streets,” said Hagekhalil, who mentioned that Councilmember Mike Bonin reached out to him directly to “take care of Chautauqua.”
The executive director mentioned his team’s focus on spending money on street rehabilitation instead of injury claim payouts, which amounted to about $55 million in the last year.
Hagekhalil also brought along his team of city employees from different departments who oversee projects related to infrastructure to introduce themselves to PPCC and answer any questions, and in some cases, complaints.
“I would like to see the utility companies get fined for ruining our streets,” said Area 8 Representative Reza Akef, who claimed those companies were not held to the same standards as everyone else and hiring subcontractors that improperly fill potholes.
Hagekhalil also touched on efforts to incorporate a new material to replace asphalt in the future that is “10 times stronger than asphalt, cheaper, and more environmentally safe.”
On the topic of street furniture, Treasurer Richard Cohen drew a firm line in the sand and reminded the new official of the Palisades’ fight—and victory—in the past to keep city-issued street furniture out of the Palisades.
“We do not want commercial signs, we don’t want movie posters that are illuminated on public right of way in the center of our beautiful little community,” Cohen said.
“We urge you, all of you who might be involved in this, to check back with us before you go ahead and start to make plans on any of this because otherwise we’re going to be fighting,” he said, assuring them that the Palisades community would be happy to work with the city.
In response to Chautauqua’s planned repaving from Sunset to PCH on April 27 and 28, Hagekhalil said, “I’ll get it done.”