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New City Map Tells You When Your Street Will Be Closed For Construction

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We’ve all been there, driving along in our own neighborhood when suddenly we’re detoured into a series of unexpected right turns because DWP or the Bureau of Street Services has shut down the street we wanted to use.

Sure, it can be a real pain. But now the city of Los Angeles has released a new tool to help make it easier for residents and city agencies alike figure out when streets in their neighborhood (or anywhere in the city) are going to be closed down.

Street Wize is the result of Mayor Garcetti’s open data initiative—an attempt to make data collected held the city of Los Angeles more accessible. In essence, Street Wize pulls permit information from several city departments, and compiles it all together in one, easy-to-use portal for information on street-closures. This ranges from utility work and street resurfacing, to events and bigger construction projects.

Residents can use the tool easily by going to the tool’s website, typing in their address, and selecting a few parameters. Depending on what you select, you can see either ongoing projects, or projects that haven’t yet begun but have been issued a permit. All projects include information on their specific street-closures tagged with a specific date.

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It’s important to remember, though, that Street Wize is really just one fruit off the tree-of-open-data. Open data has given us another, more comprehensive, site; Los Angeles GeoHub, which aggregates all of the data L.A. has released to the public in one spot.

The point of all this open city data is that twofold. On one hand, it gives software, developers a chance to use data in innovative ways. Open data also makes cooperation between city agencies easier. Prior to Garcetti’s initiative, sharing information between different city agencies and bureaus was a lengthy complicated process that didn’t even work.

The absence of data sharing between city services would often lead to inefficiency on a scale that only government knows how to do.

“No more Bureau of Street Services paving a street on Monday, DWP digging it up on Tuesday,” Garcetti said, according to Governing Magazine.

Maybe. We’ll see. For now, just be happy you can see when your street will be closed.

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[H/T to CurbedLA]