Westdale Avenue is one of Eagle Rock’s shorter streets, only about a quarter of a mile long according to Google Maps. The street is bisected by Eagle Rock Boulevard, cut into two distinctive sections.
Westdale Avenue as seen from Google Maps. Image credit: Google Maps
Two blocks east of Eagle Rock Boulevard, Westdale Avenue terminates by Occidental College where the street meets with Campus Road. Many residents in the area have probably traversed at least part of this section of the street between Eagle Rock Boulevard and Campus Road– perhaps to reach Oxy or to get onto or off of Eagle Rock Boulevard.
Westdale Avenue, “Not A Through Street”
The western portion is an unassuming a cul-de-sac, as signified by a “Not A Through Street” sign placed where the street intersects with Eagle Rock Boulevard, one block before the street terminates. Oddly, Westdale holds the distinction of being the only street in Eagle Rock that ends in a cul-de-sac one block immediately west of Eagle Rock Boulevard. Most streets that intersect with Eagle Rock Boulevard connect to Ellenwood Drive, if heading west. But what does this part of Westdale really look like? What is this unique cul-de-sac like in person, beyond what a Google Map street view tour can provide?
Immediately off of Eagle Rock Boulevard the street seems fairly typical– narrow sidewalks, single family homes and a small apartment are visible. As one approaches the end of the street, the sidewalks terminate, which is a little unusual for streets in the flat, non-hillside parts of Eagle Rock. The sidewalk probably ends though because technically beyond that point land is private property, according to ZIMAS (Zone Information and Map Access System).
End of the sidewalk
Continuing, one is suddenly in a parking lot and there ends the street rather unceremoniously.
End of Westdale Avenue
However, looking at this “Not Through” street, visible is a navigable walkway in the corner of the parking lot.
Center left, the asphalt continues along a narrow path
A look down the paved path
Looking east on Ellenwood Drive, behind the car and the bush is the narrow path that connects to Westdale Avenue
Upon closer inspection, one can see a cut in the curb adjacent to the narrow path as though perhaps at one point Westdale Avenue was a through street or there was an alley connecting it to Ellenwood Drive.
However, according to ZIMAS the path is informal. Unlike similar paths found along Delevan Drive or the Delrosa Walk, this walkway is not recognized as navigable– not a real street, alley, or walkway. A 1930 sanborn map of the area – the earliest map of the area I could find – also shows no navigable path. In the 1930 map the configuration back then is almost identical to today: Westdale Avenue ends at the same spot and the location of the path is on land recognized solely as private property.
Without further investigation, this narrow path remains a bit of a mystery. If the path really is private, why is access to the public not restricted? Who benefits from this path being here and why is it paved? If anyone knows anything about the path or the history of area more generally, feel free to chime in.