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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Silver Lake council says “No” to “No Cruising” signs

Photo from Facebook

By Mary A. Allen

Community members turned out in force before the  Silver Lake Neighborhood Council on Wednesday night to overwhelmingly support removal of the “No Cruising” signs erected along Griffith Park Boulevard and Hyperion Avenue. “Cruising,” in this case, has been the euphemistic term for searching for sex partners. The signs were installed in 1997 following many years of complaints of gay men cruising for sex near popular bars. The signs, having long outlived their intended use, are now “an embarrassment,” as one community member put it. “They stigmatize the neighborhood,” noted board member Michael Masterson.  The board voted unanimously in favor of removing the signs.

As to what will happen to the signs, comments ranged from selling them on EBay to board member Paul Neuman’s suggestion that “The signs should be given to the appropriate archivist.”

In other meeting news:


Finding Closure: Sunset Junction
Board of Public Works president Andrea Alarcon,  who took the lead  to deny a street fair permit for Sunset Junction,  made an appearance before the council. Said Alarcon, “We got hundreds and hundreds of emails, only one that I can remember in support of the event.” In response to potential concern over economic impact for the bands scheduled to perform, she noted that about one hundred bands “moved into local bars and other venues; the benefit was spread throughout L.A.” Alarcon thanked the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council for their support and the clear message that they sent to the City regarding neighborhood concerns.

Apron Parking
The City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) recently began enforcing a long-standing  ticketing of residents  who take advantage of extra driveway space between the curb and the sidewalk (the “apron” or “parkway”) to park their cars. The crack-down is in response to ADA related lawsuits. A community member who behind of Stop LA Dot spoke to the Council, urging them to support a new apron parking policy in the City of Los Angeles. Board members passed the motion.

Homeless Neighbors
In a unanimous show of support, the Board approved $3,000 for the upcoming “Homeless to Housed” campaign in Silver Lake, which will ultimately provide permanent supportive housing for twenty-six homeless residents of Silver Lake. A representative from  P.A.T.H. was on had to explain the program and enlist support. SLNC funds will be earmarked for training volunteers to take an initial detailed survey.

Community members interested in volunteering for any component of this program can email Jessica Wishon, Director of Community Investment at P.A.T.H., or SLNC Board Member Sarah Dale.

Technology
After hearing presentations from two local website design companies, the Board approved $500 for a month of website design and technical services to revamp www.silverlakenc.org . Continued website maintenance will be decided upon after the initial 30 days of service.

Dates to Note

Participate
Stakeholders who want to support the neighborhood and have a say in local government can do so as a member of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council. Three vacancies are currently available: Member at Large, Region 2, Region 5. Board members will be publicizing the vacancies and soliciting names for the selection process during the coming month. Interested residents may contact the SLNC for further details.

Related Post:

  • Silver Lake NC supports removing “No Cruising” signs. Patch

35 comments

  1. I’m a resident and frankly, there’s not a weekend night that goes by that I’m not stopped by someone looking to solicit sex in that area. Scary enough is when random cars creep up on you and circle back time and time again. The random drunk guy on the street is actually kind of comical, but having a dark vehicle circle around the block several times, following your moves around corners, and creep up on you is a bit scary, particularly with the beatings that went on a year or so ago…

  2. Note to self: Check out Hyperion/Griffith Park this Friday and Saturday nights….

  3. @vigo, funny!
    @notopposed — are you serious?

  4. Funny indeed. So many old gay joints in Silver Lake have closed: the Detour, Cuffs, Basic Plumbing etc. Definitely the neighborhood/times have changed. Gay folks hook up online now, the guys cruising and in parks are on the DL……..

  5. Two times past the same point within six hours is cruising? Who knew that my regular trips to Trader Joe’s were illegal? Glad I won’t end up in lockdown after crusing for soy milk.

  6. The gays have been gentrified out of Silver Lake.

  7. haha “signs erected”

  8. @Jen – dude…it happens every weekend without fail. Shit is creepy as hell.

  9. Good riddance – those signs are offensive.

  10. The signs served no purpose. What were they supposed to do, swoop down and enforce the code written on them? They are an eyesore and an insult. NotOpposed must be one red-hot mama.

  11. Then how am I supposed to know where to go for sex without these signs?

  12. They should just throw the signs in the back of a truck and drive them over to
    Elysian Park where “cruising” is alive and well .

    The Detour and Cuffs ! Haha! Going waaaay back !
    Love that !

  13. i want one of those signs. where do i go to get it?
    ps where in Elysian Park?

  14. @ NotOpposed – so if there’s still occasionally cruising on those streets, then obviously the signs aren’t working.

    yes, public sex is a crime – but so is burglary. why don’t we have ‘no burglary’ signs up? these signs are an insult to the (remaining) gay residents of silver lake, and should have been taken down years ago.

    kudos to the silver lake neighborhood council for this action.

  15. those signs are totally old skool. used to have 1 in front of my apartment. silverlake was a lot different then. would actually like to have one of these as a memento.

  16. Silver Lakers can rest easy, knowing that the effective leadership of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council is working on these important matters. Next on the agenda: styrofoam cups, necessary evil?

  17. My friend has lived at Lucille north of Sunset and said that this has been a huge problem in his area. Through his 7 years of living there he has seen many boys waiting on the corners and get picked up, condoms in his bushes, and caught men engaging in sexual acts in his back yard and driveway. It still goes on, although, I am not sure how these signs are effective. The person who mentioned their trader joe’s trip, that’s what I was thinking of. What if you are just circling the block looking for parking??

  18. Freud Sat Nam, I mean Craig ,
    Why do you have a hard on for the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council?

  19. The problem isn’t cruising… the problem is people urinating, defecating, littering and trespassing on other peoples property. Funny, in Echo Park outside the so-called ‘straight’ bars – the same activity goes on… hmmmm where are the signs for that? These signs are a throwback to a more homophobic time…. when anti-gay sentiment ran higher. Good riddance to the signs. As far as curbing late night “drinking related” behavior, unfortunately it falls on the individual home owner. Install motion lights and cameras, I say! It’s either that or bring back old school “back rooms” where patrons can have sex before they leave the bar (gasps!).

  20. I moved out of the neighborhood because the cruising is still so bad around Lucile/Sunset. It might have calmed down in other areas but it was a constant fight to keep guys from having sex in the driveway/backyard/stairwell of my old apartment complex. There was a constant problem of used condoms, lube, and poop at my back door & on sidewalks after every weekend. I met with police/neighbors, etc. and it still kept going on. Motion lights last a few days until they are broken and ripped down. The council can take down the signs but it still doesn’t fix the problem.

  21. To add to Dean Decent- get a dog or stay up on the nights the bad behavior goes on and turn the hose on the folks doing the bad behavior. After a few weeks, folks will move on to having sex in front of a neighbor’s house, not yours. This worked for us back in 1997 when we moved into our house off Sunset in Sunset Junction.

  22. I swear I was just making a return trip to Ballers Hardware, officer!

  23. Poop,

    Well, I’m not Craig, but since you asked . . . all these items, while some being quite noble, are really pretty easy to get behind.  We need a Silver Lake Neighborhood Council that has ideas, not just reactions to everything.  $3,000 for the homeless is wonderful; but in comparison to the more than $3,000 for a copier they gave to the Ivanhoe School, while nice, is really not that impressive. Did that money come from taxpayers?  Some parents of Ivanhoe students can afford to buy several copiers for the school. Taking a stand against Sunset Junction after it’s been such an unpleasant mess is really not that bold.  While thankful for the result, we don’t really need all the self-congratulations. It would be nice to see the Neighborhood Council focus some energy on the areas of Silver Lake south of Sunset. It would shake the impression that some have that the Council caters to residents north of Sunset and in the Ivanhoe school district. Thanks for the excuse to share more thoughts. Of course, this is all just my opinion.

  24. that’s the whole point, Freud. It’s “really pretty easy to get behind.”

  25. I as a gay man think they should stay as a cultural reminder of the times…however, if the city wants to auction them off they could make a bloody fortune on the those two signs….I for one would buy one in a heartbeat….
    Ned

    Are you sure they were “erected” in ’97…seems like they were put up a few years earlier…but I could be wrong.

  26. All this time I thought those signs were in reference to gang activity! (Not the sexual kind.)

  27. Are you sure that’s the kind of cruising this is meant to imply?

  28. i don’t agree that the signs are homophobic. the neighborhood was pretty much a sexual playground; they were trying to curb that sort of public activity and the sexual orientation was not an issue. they used to have no loitering signs up in Hollywood where heterosexual prostitution was happening (heterophobic?). i can’t ever remember seeing anyone stopped for cruising in the time I lived on Griffith Park.

  29. To: Freud Sat Nam / not craig. For someone who is really crusing the SLNC you sure know everything about their agenda. Whats up with that ??

  30. Freud Sat Nam- the SLNC has given money to other school not just Ivanhoe. They gave Micheltorena money for our garden. I agree the Ivanhoe parents have a lot of cash, but they are Silver Lake residents just like Micheltorena parents and the SLNC should support all of Silver Lake.

  31. would cash in my cans for one of those signs. agreed with Libertad. most poc queers have been gentrified out of SL. except for the upper middle class gay/lesbians who are racist, the breeders w/strollers, and skinny hipsters w/tiny dogs.

  32. I always thought those signs meant no “cruising” as in the cool guys with their cool mobiles with loud music kind cruising. Sorry, I’m old. You guys are so witty and hilarious! So glad I came across this site.

  33. Cheryl,
    I was thinking the same thing when I first saw the story.

    With street parking being what it is in Los Angeles I wondering if I was
    going to get a ticket driving around the block a few times to get a parking spot!

    If that were the case, I would have already gotten a lot of “cruising” tickets here in
    L.A.

  34. HAHAHA gay men hooking up dont usually shit where they had sex, theres homeless too…. leave them up, soon they can be historical. Sorry if you cant invite your friends from BH cause your embarrassed and it shames the neighborhood.

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