An effort by Kenneth Road residents to wrestle back their neighborhood from Halloween crowds and vandalism this year appears to have paid off.
For three years Lucy Brand closed the shutters to her home on Kenneth Road and stopped handing out candy on Halloween after fights broke out in her yard, pumpkins were smashed and decorations were damaged.
But on Wednesday night, Brand and her husband opened their doors once again to trick-or-treaters as for the first time, Glendale police guarded a stretch of road to curtail vandalism at the popular Halloween spot that attracts thousands of revelers.
“I wanted to claim Halloween back,” Brand said. “It's too bad that had to happen under police escort, but sometimes you have to remind people what it is to be a good citizen.”
A dozen Glendale police officers on Halloween blocked off vehicle traffic along Kenneth Road from Grandview Avenue to Highland Avenue to outsiders and initiated a 10 p.m. curfew for those under 18.
Residents have long complained about egged houses, teens messing with parked cars, beer bottles strewn about and damaged decorations.
Glendale Police Lt. Bruce Fox said the extra measures were successful, but it may take time before people get the message that trash and vandalism won't be tolerated on Kenneth Road.
The area has long been known as a Halloween destination because of its flat streets and festively decorated homes.
Resident Teri Fagiani, who decorates for Halloween every year, was at first reluctant to put jumping spiders, a spooky mad scientist and other scary decorations on her front lawn Wednesday night, but with the police there, she took a chance. And nothing was damaged.
“The kids were safer and the overall feel was that it was under control,” she said.
Last year, Fagiani distributed about 3,500 pieces of candy on Halloween — one piece to each trick-or-treater — but this year, the handouts dropped by nearly 1,000, she said.
Glendale police did catch five Burbank teens carrying black ski masks and two cartons of eggs in their bags, Fox said. The teens were released to their parents.
Ten other youths were caught violating the curfew, Fox added.
“The road closure and police enforcement have to return at least one more year to change the attitudes,” he said, adding that he planned to host a town hall meeting with neighbors to discuss Halloween procedures later this month.
Cliff Claycomb, who lives one street away from Kenneth Road, has hosted a trash cleanup the day after Halloween for almost three years and he planned to host one again Thursday afternoon.
But he said he didn't expect to see as much trash this time around and he's not sure if he needs to organize a cleanup crew next year because of the drop in rubbish.
“People realized with the closure that homeowners are getting fed up with the type of behavior that's been exhibited in the past,” Claycomb said.