Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Original Street Sweeping & Street Lighting...

At the of the City's incorporation in 1850, it had 1610 residents, according to the U.S. Census. The land area was 28 square miles. There were no paved streets, sidewalks, lights, nor a single public building of its own (the "City Hall" was a jail/courthouse/city hall/county seat). Every Saturday morning, residents swept and/or cleaned the portion of the (dirt) street in front of their house. As for Street Lighting... every house that faced the street was required to have a light placed at the front door of the house and that it be lit for the first two hours of darkness each night.

They were simpler times when people took responsibility for the community's well-being. Now, every resident expects the City to do everything, though it is still the property owner's responsibility to pay for street lighting and maintain a clear sidewalk, curb and gutter in front of there property.

Image of first street light (one of 30 installed from 1882 to 1885) in Los Angeles from the Bureau of Street Lighting website.


Anonymous said...

hi sweep-nerd,
sidewalk sweeping is still a tradition in the southern parts of germany (where i life).
unfortunately you will be scrutinized by your friendly neighbors- thank god i have no sidewalk ;-)

AVN said...

I don't know if every resident expects the City to take care of all these things. But what choice do we have? I used to live in Colorado Springs, population 360,890, where trash collection was private. Dozens of trash companies competed for your business. Try that in LA! - AVN

Anonymous said...

I always thought the city should be better at requiring businesses to keep the front of their stores, including sidewalks, streets and street facing walls in better condition. The trash littering some streets around LA is so bad, weeds coming up in cracks, grafatti goes weeks without cover-up, and an abundance of old and torn sale signs hang lazily from iron cages protecting large windows from... looting maybe?

I know they probably feel like the business tax they pay should handle items like this. But i garuntee you, a lot of those businesses fudge the books and don't pay the taxes they should.

Miles said...

Now, it's time for my semi-annual blog bitching of street cleaning in Atwater Village.

There are about 8-12 blocks on the east side of Glendale Blvd. where the street cleaners refuse to clean. Oh, sure they litterally clean block after block and then eventually come to a certain intersection --usually Silver Lake Blvd. -- and just stop. Well, not actually, stop. They go down the middle of the street, still cleaning, and push all the dirt to both sides and toward whatever cars are parked on the streets.

When petitioned, the city actually decided to test out street cleaning in the neglected blocks on a once/monthly basis. This lasted six months and I guess the city determined that it would be far too costly and time consuming to extend the cleaning into these blocks (that they drive down already).

It would seem to me that the only additional cost is nailing a few street cleaning signs to lamp posts. I'll gladly volounteer to do it, too. Street cleaning doesn't just clean the streets, after all. If they're abandoned cars, that's how they're often found and removed...making the community and city safer over all.

(And don't get me started on concrete resurfacing vs. asphalt either -- it's insane.)

pushingtide said...

If f*cks wouldn't litter the LA streets would look a ton better. Seriously, everyday I see people walking and just dropping their wrappers, trash, cigs, whatever.

And a lot of this is from the homeless, maybe they are mad at the "system" or whatever but they aren't helping.

Drive by the LA Free Clinic on Hollywood/Gower one of these days where all these kids sleep and hang out. SO much trash on that sidewalk. Walk your lazy ass down 10 feet and throw it away!!

Sorry for going off topic.

Great post Nerd!

C... said...

It seems rather tall in proportion to the height of everything else around it.