Among the many changes Van Nuys has undergone in the last 60 years, two stand out in this old photograph.
Diagonal curb parking and the Pacific Electric Rail helped ground the street and divide it into manageable, smaller, more walkable and more friendly parts.
In 1954, the street was widened, and the streetcar eliminated. North Hollywood’s Valley Plaza (1951) helped hasten the decline of the small business shopping street, and thus, the decline of Van Nuys Boulevard as a clean, pleasant, prosperous destination.
And cobra necked anti-crime streetlights disfigure Van Nuys Boulevard and give it an air of a malingering, dated, 1960s speedway.