Readers React: Why fix homelessness in L.A. when it’s easier to shoo people off a Los Feliz traffic median?
To the editor: On one hand, we have a burgeoning community of homeless people looking for any available space to pitch a tent. On the other is the wealthy Los Angeles enclave of Los Feliz, whose residents and businesses feel inundated by homeless people. This is a societal problem, and there will be no winners because we have only Band-Aids, not solutions. (“Los Feliz traffic median’s latest makeover might include planters in a bid to thwart homeless encampments,” April 25)
Individuals living on Los Angeles streets are there because they were left behind — by the economic downturn of a few years back, because of health issues, or because they’re war veterans. I see them everywhere now — they camp near the L.A. River, on bike paths, in the parts of Griffith Park sandwiched between golf courses and the freeway. And they camp in places like Los Feliz until the moneyed community decides enough is enough and clears them out.
As the homeless man who gave his name as Smiley suggests, Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu’s idea to rework a Los Feliz traffic median so that it is no longer hospitable to homeless campers “sucks” because it’s an appeasement to a community, not a solution. It kicks the can down the road for the district’s next council member to pick up.
On April 21, I participated in an L.A. River cleanup, where I noticed a homeless man on the bike path packing up his tent and wandering away from the approaching hordes of volunteers. He disappeared, so we did not have to be reminded that homelessness has become a massive problem for our city.
This is the disheartening reality.
Kathryn Louyse, Glendale
To the editor: The Vermont Triangle issue is a fiasco all too familiar to those who have witnessed the decades of inept design insults at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles. What once was a thriving “Hyde Park” in the 1950s metastasized into the present tumor that beckons no one.
Good design should not be under the thumb of bureaucrats. Hence, the Vermont Triangle proposal will never come to a good result by chasing the specter of homelessness.
William K. Solberg, Los Angeles
To the editor: If it were me making the decisions, I would fill the median with boulders, small and large; build a few “peaks” to create some dimensional interest; and add some aloes, cacti and small trees.
Homeless people wouldn’t be able to sleep there, and it would be far cheaper than putting in more unsightly planters. Leave the light posts.
This really shouldn’t be so complicated.
Debbie Murray, Glendale
To the editor: We don’t want homeless people in our pretty traffic medians, so our first priority is to make life harder for them than it already is.
Our priority is pretty traffic medians, not people who actually need a place to sleep. They are poor, so they don’t count.
Sam Platts, Sylmar
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