Walking in L.A.: Trees as Sidewalk Vandals Walking in L.A.: Trees as Sidewalk Vandals

Walking in L.A.: Trees as Sidewalk Vandals

by Ryan Bradley

May 21, 2010

Part two in Walking in L.A., a GOOD miniseries by Ryan Bradley on transportation in Los Angeles and what it's like to get across the entire city on foot.

Los Angeles spent about $22 million a year on sidewalk repair until last week, when it announced it might not pay anymore. Councilman Bernanrd C. Parks was quoted as saying, "We have no ability to perform these repairs. The money ran out in the mid-1970s." The trees along a street like Sepulveda are lovely and ungovernable, nice to walk under but a financial burden on the city.

Just a few weeks ago Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stopped by a high school to help plant 53 Australian willows as part of the multi-year, Million Trees L.A. project. The trees are fairly tall, but also wide. They can be expected to grow 30 feet high and about 25 feet out. Planting a bunch of trees all at once is a great stunt, but better still to plant the right trees the right way. I think here the authors of "Street Trees of Los Angeles" and I agree: Go with native species, and give them plenty of room. After all, the trees were here first.

I don't see another car drive by, or anyone in their yard or on the sidewalk, until Alverson dead ends into a cement catch-basin surrounded by wildflowers. The path cuts downhill until it runs into a culvert that leads to Culver City. I think this is kind of poetic, finding a yellow-ish road like this to follow to where they filmed The Wizard of Oz in Technicolor.

Next up: Los Angeles plays itself.

Photos by Ryan Bradley

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Walking in L.A.: Trees as Sidewalk Vandals