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Know Your West LA Murderous Medians

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At Bundy Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard in West LA, the drab retail scene (Starbucks, strip mall, Blockbuster, strip mall) is broken up by a stretch of green space, an area that is permanently locked and slowly collecting detritus at its edges. And this triangle (don't call it a park) has a rough history. "This property is not classified as a park, but rather an improved median under the jurisdiction of Street Services," writes Nate Kaplan, press secretary for City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, in an email. According to Kaplan, the area was a favorite hangout of transients. "It was a constant draw on police resources with many call outs. Local businesses were frustrated. The last straw was when a transient was murdered in the triangle. After that incident, the triangle was fenced off." Kaplan says Rosendahl is working on opening the area again.

Also, the space was featured in that roaming public art/traffic island project, "Islands of LA." In an e-mail, Ari Kletzky of Islands of LA tells us this about the Bundy spot: "This is a traffic island with a fascinating story. A sign was installed there about a year and a half ago (about 100 Nt'l Park signs were installed across the city). The signs serve multiple purposes but not every island with a sign had an activity (and vice versa). Other than installing the sign, people were interviewed on the island. Nobody knew the history. I did some digging and it turns out the island used to be open but it was frequented by people the neighborhood didn't want hanging out there." According to Kletzky, Islands of LA might do a project there at some point in the future.

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