Council Steps Boldly Into Sneakers Issue

In an unusual turn of events, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to a request by member Nate Holden to require cable companies to remove sneakers tied together and left dangling from overhead lines.

While Holden says the sneakers are menacing signals of gang territory and drug sales, Los Angeles Police Department officials have said they are pranks. Suggestions that gang members hang their shoes on the lines to identify neighborhoods where drugs are sold are rumors, the LAPD officials say.

Still, council members went along with their colleague, perhaps to humor him or perhaps because they, too, believe the rumors. Stranger things have happened at City Hall.

Cable companies that use city-owned street light poles will be contractually required to send crews to remove hanging shoes.


Holden says the city Department of Water and Power and the Bureau of Street Lighting already do a good job of removing the sneakers.