Although Eagle Rock has historically been a suburban community of Los Angeles, it does not conform to horrid images of suburbs that may imply Eagle Rock is a sterile cookie cutter community. Perhaps this is partially because Eagle Rock was primarily developed as a streetcar community and was its own city for a bit over a decade, from 1911 to 1923.
However Eagle Rock remains suburban is certain respects nonetheless and because of this it is not uncommon to see a street sign reading “Not A Through Street” in the neighborhood. These streets are obviously of no interest to people unless they live there. It is for this reason that I am interested in these ‘NATS’ (acronym of Not A Through Street) as I will affectionately refer to them. What exactly is at the end of these not through streets? What is the unique character and feel adopted?
This installment of NATS looks where Delevan Drive and Range Road meet, up a bit of an incline running along the southern end of Delevan Drive Elementary. This NATS is definitely different from other NATS as it has a metal barrier physically preventing cars from traveling through. This feature especially interested me. When I saw the barrier I began to wonder, “does it actually go through but on a dangerous path, is that why it is blocked off?” Nothing prevents a pedestrian from passing the barrier, so I crossed it and embarked on a brief adventure.
Looking down the street I started thinking there may be a house at the end and they really want people to keep off their stretch of the street. I walked with hillside to my right and fencing along the left. I spotted a rusted bike in the corner of someone’s yard up against a chain-link fence.
Then the street curved to the right and in an unusual manner for a street that is paved and continues for so long– there was nothing developed at the end.
At the end of the road there was some shrub, broken branches, loose leaves, and… a dirt path!
The path was very narrow with plants brushing my side.
And at the end the path this is what I saw:
The path connects to the other side of Delevan Drive which is otherwise accessible via Yosemite Way. In the process of writing this post I looked at two maps of Eagle Rock: a map from 1937 shows Delevan as a continuous street that does not appear to get cut off anywhere; and Google Maps shows exactly the same thing– a continuous Delevan Drive.
Even for people that like to explore unknown streets, a “Not A Through Street” sign typically ends any speculation of a potential new short cut or hidden path. However, one of the many advantages of walking is that you can often go places cars can’t and move through a space without a flat, paved path. This is why I was pleasantly surprised to see that despite the sign’s warning, walkers can continue along Delevan Drive.
Reason number 1 to ‘walk eagle rock’ : Go from one end of Delevan to the other uninterrupted, defying signs claiming the street is bisected.