The road untraveled between El Sereno and South Pasadena

The north end of oil-stained Van Horne Avenue in El Sereno ends abruptly at the South Pasadena city limit at a low wall fronting some grass, trees and a sign reading “NOT A THROUGH STREET.” The street, however, does go through, emerging after about a half-block gap on the South Pasadena side as Via Del Rey, which snakes through a subdivision of Brady Bunch-like homes. Traffic once flowed freely on this road between the two communities until 35 years ago when South Pasadena filled in a half-block section of street to create a mini-park in an effort to reduce traffic. But what South Pasadena considered a traffic barrier has long been viewed by many living on the other side as a barrier against El Sereno’s primarily Latino residents

There was an effort earlier this decade to reopen the street but the South Pasadena City Council rejected it in the face of widespread opposition. Instead it opted to lower the height of a wall that faced Los Angeles. That suited South Pasadena resident Angela Diaz, who told the Los Angeles Times:

“I think the people of El Sereno should pay attention to their own community. We’ll pay attention to ours.”

Top photo: Looking north into South Pasadena. Bottom photo: Looking south into Los Angeles

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