The State Worker

Caltrans sign scramble turns ‘Los Feliz’ into ‘Los Fezil’

A truck removes an incorrectly-spelled freeway sign over the on-ramp to Los Feliz Boulevard on Monday. The old sign it was supposed to replace was re-installed.
A truck removes an incorrectly-spelled freeway sign over the on-ramp to Los Feliz Boulevard on Monday. The old sign it was supposed to replace was re-installed. Reddit

The running debate over the name of a Southern California neighborhood – Los Fay-LEASE or Los FEE-lease? – has a new entry this week, courtesy of a Caltrans sign screw-up.

Private contractors on Monday installed a new offramp sign on Interstate 5 for Los Feliz Boulevard as part of a larger repaving and upgrade for a section of the freeway that runs past the city. After hoisting the 4-foot-by-6-foot metal sign aloft and installing over the roadway, someone noticed a problem with the reflective white letters on the Kermit-the-Frog-green background:

“Los Fezil Blvd.”

Caltrans spokeswoman Lauren Wonder said Caltrans’ plans had everything correct, right down to the last letter. The private contractor that manufactured the sign scrambled the street name, she said, and it was up above the offramp for “several minutes” before the work crew took it down.

That was long enough, however, for passerby to take photos of the mixed-up road marker. One surfaced on social media site Reddit, where it became fodder for a mock debate about the correct pronunciation of the city’s “new” designation:

“It’s pronounced, ‘Fee-zill.’”

“No no no! All the locals say ‘Fay-seel.’”

“I pronounce it as ‘whatever works,’ but ... good enough!”

Wonder said that the old sign was put back up and that a new, correctly-spelled sign will be installed within the next two weeks at no extra charge to taxpayers.

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