SILVER LAKE — In 1924 a 75-foot-long tunnel was opened underneath Sunset Boulevard at Golden Gate Avenue to create a safe passage for children and other pedestrians walking to Micheltorena Elementary. It has been many years, however, since school kids have passed through the tunnel on a regular basis. The passage has been fenced off after it become a haven for the homeless and drug users, with the eight-foot wide tunnel often clogged with furniture and trash. Despite several attempts to clean up and secure the tunnel, it has remained a nuisance. Now, Councilman Mitch O’Farrell wants the tunnel closed permanently.
The locks on the tunnel gates are repeatedly broken, according to a council motion introduced by O’Farrell. With the tunnel hidden from public view, “it has become a site for criminal activity,” raising concern for the safety of students and nearby residents.
The motion, if adopted by the full council, would instruct the Bureau of Street Services and the City Engineer to come up with with recommendations and estimated costs to permanently close off the passageway.
O’Farrell’s plan to close off the tunnel comes as some members of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council have expressed an interest to keep it open to serve as a public arts space similar to a pedestrian tunnel in Cypress Park.
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