The police and park rangers arrive to threaten them with tickets. Signs have been installed warning them to stay away. But every week a growing group of residents and peddlers return to the corner of Echo Park Avenue and Park Avenue to roll out plastic tarps and blankets across the grass near Echo Park Lake in preparation for yet another Sunday afternoon swap meet. The open air market has proved popular, with everything from DVDs to underwear to small appliances up for sale. But the swap meet has also drawn complaints from residents that it has taken over one of the few, relatively flat sections of the park, a popular spot for informal soccer games.
In response to complaints, Councilman Eric Garcetti’s office has begun planning a comprehensive effort to deal with the swap meet. “We want to come up with ideas to take back ownership of the park,” Alejandra Marroquin, the council office’s Echo Park Deputy, told a meeting of the Echo Park Chamber of Commerce last night. Marroquin has already met with several city agencies to map out a strategy and is now organizing a committee of community representatives to work on the issue.
What’s the plan? The Eastsider has submitted a few questions to the council office and will post the reply in a future story.
Photo by a resident who wanted to remain anonymous.