Monday, June 1, 2009

Wall in the sky makes me ask what's up

As they ride, motorcyclists experience the sights, sounds and even smells of the world around them. So it is with some dismay that I have to report that the state of California is walling off part of the sky.

This is not a diatribe about helmet laws or noisy motorcycle exhaust pipes. No, I am serious. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has built a cinder block "sound wall" on the bridge that carries the Hollywood Freeway over Roscoe Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.

You see the wall in the photo here. Since it is on a bridge, it appears to wall off part of the sky. As for sound, the only place the wall can protect from sound is the busy street below the bridge -- which already is plenty noisy. Silence here is a lost cause.

So far, at least, the sound wall does not appear to extend beyond the bridge itself. You can see one edge of the wall in the picture. If there are neighborhoods to either side (I didn't see any -- just vacant lots and a gas station), the wall on the bridge does little or nothing for them.

Checking the Internet I could find no information providing a justification for this wall. I did find one Caltrans press release that referred to it as a "$5 million" project.

That may seem like a lot of money for a block wall. But it is not exceptional if you consider that, according to the press release, they had to widen the bridge itself -- to make room for the sound wall.


  1. Anonymous6/01/2009

    looks to me like a Sun block above the highway as its going from West to East..

  2. Makes you wonder if a "friend" of an official is reaping the benefits of building this artefact of questionable value. Of course any transaction of this nature sometimes has a quid pro quo element attached! Sorry Im cynical, but I feel David hit it on the head when he said silence here is a lost cause. So I look for other reasons!



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