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?
I hope to add a part two, perhaps part three in this series of ‘How to improve Yosemite Drive’.
Just a Note: In my posts where I re-imagine streets explaining the current situation always sounds similar, LA has long favored private car transportation over any other kind of travel and to no surprise, the streets reflect this car love. What we are constantly faced with day in and day out are streets that more resemble race tracks and anyone daring to cross a street or just get close better be careful. I know it can take a lot to change habits and standards, but these kind of posts are fun ways to imagine “what if”. This isn’t quite escapism, I just want to show how there are several ways we can reconfigure our otherwise “one size fits all” way of making streets. Having said that…. enjoy!
I have recently been interested in obsessed with re-imagining our streets as a better place to walk and bike, but can you blame me? One would think that will so much packed into The Rock we wouldn’t have such a massive reliance on cars but we do! The furthest distance anyone needs to travel in our town, from end to end, is about 3.5 miles (this is the approximate distance from Delevan Elementary to Eagle Rock Park). This is the absolute longest distance any single one-way trip can be in Eagle Rock taking a direct route. Why are the majority of trips still made by car?
This crossing light has a long wait time
Today NATS (Not A Through Street) brings us to Casper Ave, a small, out of place street. It is parallel to Eagle Rock Boulevard and perpendicular to Colorado Boulevard, the life of Eagle Rock. Casper Ave is a short street, an especially short street running about a third of a mile from end to end, around 1780 feet long. This little street holds title as the only street that interrupts Las Flores Ave between Sumner Ave and Townsend Ave, a title I wish it did not have. Las Flores would be an excellent candidate for a bicycle boulevard conversion, if it continued through Casper. Between Figueroa Street and Live Oak View Ave, Casper is also the only street perpendicular to Colorado Boulevard from the North which does NOT connect to Hill Drive. These are the things that distinguish Casper Ave before exploring it as a NATS, so lets take a closer look.
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?