Broken Windows Theory.


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There is something about Sepulveda that just seems to say “rock bottom”. I know it is not the absolute worst place in Los Angeles, but from Victory north it is one of the most depressing and inhumane.

It is almost not worth it to post the scenes we all know so well: the ugly power lines obstructing the sky, the ratty motels, the prostitution, the billboards, the cheap apartments, the car washes, paint stores, U-Haul, McDonalds. It’s as if every piece of commercial garbage industry has to have a place on this street.

We regularly hear the adjectives “broken” and “critical” in reference to our schools, hospitals, health care, law enforcement, transportation systems, air pollution and lack of recreational open space in Los Angeles. On Sepulveda, it all culminates into Dante’s hell on Earth.

And when the windows are broken and the sign to an apartment building is covered in the tagger’s paint, you can be sure that inside there are the forgotten and uncared for ones.

The people who cannot compete with KTLA’s happy talk coverage of Oscar nominations.

One day in the future, Mr. Villaraigosa or one of his deputies will come here and announce some new initiative like “Plant a Tree” or “Tutor a Child” and then the hour will be forgotten and the winds will blow again kicking up dust and misery along Sepulveda.

3 thoughts on “Broken Windows Theory.

  1. When I rode Rapid Line 734 last June, I noticed the same thing. The north end of the line (Pacoima and San Fernando) is very well maintained despite these neighborhoods’ reputation as the Valley’s roughest.

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  2. A nod to Anon! You DO seem to get around!

    But, hey! Dude! We ain’t talking Rio. Or Calcutta.

    We’re talking Valley.

    Lots of us don’t get “around.” We live here.

    I’ve been since I was a kid. That would be 1958.

    I still live here. I haven’t bailed to the “safer climes.”

    Is it wrong to think back to the day when graffiti didn’t fuck up every flat surface?

    What’s wrong with not having to meander around the dumped shopping carts at every apartment house doorway and bus stop?

    Hmmmm?

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  3. Wow, you don’t get around much do you. Sepulveda Blvd. hell on earth? Ever been to Calcutta, Rio, or even rural Misssissippi? Yes, there are problems on Sepulveda but some perspective might be in order. I’ve lived in this area for 30 years and though you might find it hard to believe, there have actually been improvements in that time. Signature Plaza at Victory and Sepulveda used to be a hodege-podge collection of RV dealers, a gas station and a porn shop. The Voyager Motel was a Sharma Brothers apartment building, they being a couple of the most notorious slum lords in Los Angeles in the early 80’s. Granted what’s replaced those earlier businesses isn’t ideal but if you’d seen what was there before you would have long ago left for safer climes.

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