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Eyes on the Street: Koreatown Anti-Camping Rocks Are Gone

10:42 AM PDT on April 11, 2022

Westmoreland Avenue's rocks are gone.

Streetsblog had been following up with city staff, trying to get a status on when and if the city was planning to clear the rocks. Then, yesterday, Streetsblog bicycled around the corner and noticed that the rocks were gone. No word yet on whether they were cleared by the city, or by whomever had them placed there.

The former Westmoreland Avenue site of the Ktown rocks
The Westmoreland Avenue site where the infamous rocks used to be

Streetsblog first reported on the Westmoreland Avenue rocks on January 31. They were apparently placed by a nearby homeowner, but SBLA hasn't been able to confirm that either. It is pretty clear that, like other large rocks placed in L.A.'s public rights-of-way, they were there to keep unhoused Angelenos from camping, though they also partially obstructed sidewalk and street areas traveled by people on foot and in wheelchairs.

Koreatown rocks, with Streetsblog editor for scale
The Westmoreland rocks in March, with Streetsblog editor for scale

After Streetsblog broke the rock news, other media - including CBS2, ABC7, and Fox11 - picked up the story, hyperbolically upgrading the two-to-three-foot tall rocks to "mysterious large boulders” causing a “crisis in Koreatown.” The city of L.A. soon posted a notice that it would clear the rocks. At the scheduled time and date in February, city trucks and crews showed up, but couldn’t access the rocks due to parked cars.

Now they're gone.

The rocks didn't solve Koreatown homelessness. Get involved with groups like Ktown for All and PATH to help with that.

But the Westmoreland rocks apparently inspired other, more recent, unhoused-hostile copycat installations nearby. The two examples below are within a half-dozen blocks of the Westmoreland rocks; both appear to be on private property, not in the city right-of-way.

Koreatown's Ralphs market, at 3rd and Vermont, replaced a small landscaped area surrounding their sign
Koreatown's Ralphs market, at 3rd and Vermont, hardscaped a formerly landscaped area surrounding their sign
Not sure that the Fire Marshall will like these large rocks blocking the apparently little-use front door of the office building at 519 Shatto Place
It's not clear that a fire marshal would approve of these new large rocks blocking the apparently little-used front door of an office building on Shatto Place

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