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Abandoned Roads West Of LAX  
User currently offlineJmc1975 From Israel, joined Sep 2000, 3268 posts, RR: 15
Posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 6646 times:

I have notice on numerous occasions over the past decade the maze of residential-grade roads atop the dunes that lie just west of LAX and east of the main coastal road. I tlooks as though this area has been completely fenced off. Does this land belong to LAWA? When were these roads put in and what was their original purpose when they were constructed?



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14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 32
Reply 1, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 6575 times:

Just checked my files, and found a layout map of LAX dated in 1983. LAWA, at that time, and I'm assuming they still would (since airports don't give up land for outside development) at this time, owned all the land east of, and up to, the Vista Del Mar beachside road on the west, Imperial Blvd on the south, and zig-zags on the north and east.

So, the basic answer to your question is, yes, they do own the land. I'm not sure when those roads went in. They were probably residential years and years ago, and LAX bought them out for expansion, or clear zone clearances, and just never took up the streets.

I remember on at least one occasion growing up when my dad took me and my brother up along one of those roads to watch the planes, probably in the late 60's or early 70's. Thus began my hobby of spotting, and got me interested in a career in aviation.

Tom at MSY



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineSlamclick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 2, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 6541 times:

You will find something similar south of SEA. The DesMoines Creek park has many wooded acres but there are old streets and a couple of old buildings hidden away there. Once, while hiking there I met two women who were standing on the site of the house they grew up in.

It is not a great place for spotting as it sits below field elevation, the planes are fairly high passing here. But near the north end you can stand and listen to the wingtip vortices settling into the treetops. I've even seen them break a branch once.




Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently onlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8133 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 6491 times:

The abandoned roads belong to one of the first residential developments in Playa del Rey, dating to the late 1930s. From Vista del Mar, the main entrance to the tract can still be seen - a once stately boulevard with a landscaped median punctuated by Washington palm trees. Large homes with hilly driveways had incredible views of Dockweiler beach and the ocean below.

LAWA has owned the land since the mid-1960s if I recall correctly. The area was occupied as mentioned in an above post for clear zones and installation of approach lights for the airport's runway expansion, though a through street from Pershing to Vista del Mar, Sandpiper, was open as 2002, when it was closed for 'security' purposes.

Closer inspection will reveal many details of the neighborhood still intact if you're really curious sometime - walk along Vista del Mar or the neighborhood just to the northwest of the airport where LAWA's occupancy borders existing homes, and you'll find curb cuts, driveways, planters and old model 1180 acorn-tipped streetlight standards that were so commonly used in LA neighborhoods from the 20s on.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 32
Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 6478 times:

I also checked an index of articles I created from my "Airliners", "Airways", and "Airliner World" magazines. I found three articles on LAX, but the one that is in the July/August 1997 issue of "Airliners" should (my mags are at home, and I'm at work) contain some old, old pics of LAX that might show the west end of the field. I'll check when I get home.

Tom at MSY



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5801 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 6437 times:

I researched this on the web a few years ago so I thought I'd see what was new. I found these pictures of the area shot from street level.
http://peteofthestreet.net/gallery/MysteryNeighborhood
and the photographer's discussion of what he has found on the neighborhood.
http://peteofthestreet.net/sayz/C1316600540/E1825350003/index.html
I know though that the area was removed to benefit LAX not the butterfly.

I found a very good history article about this area a couple of years ago. If I can find it I 'll post it.



"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineJmc1975 From Israel, joined Sep 2000, 3268 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 6404 times:

Thanks for the info guys! I find it very fascinating and almost eerie to see such nice streets still intact with nothing around them. Becasue of it's location, I would imagine most of the houses were rather nice. Were most of the homes demolished when LAX purchased the land? Or were there some that were moved? In this day and age, that would be some very expensive real estate.


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User currently onlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8133 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 6387 times:

It would be expensive to both buy *and* insure. Imagine insuring homes built on sand dunes in earthquake country. LOL


If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineJmc1975 From Israel, joined Sep 2000, 3268 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 6348 times:

FAT Flyer,
Thanks for posting the links....they were very informative.



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User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 32
Reply 9, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6261 times:

I found some pictures of the long-abandoned roads in the a.net archives. A number of pics show bits and pieces of the roads. Of those, this one details the area the best.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © James Richard Covington, Jr

Roads are located in the lower left corner of the picture.

Tom at MSY



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineClickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9628 posts, RR: 68
Reply 10, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6211 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

didnt it have something to do with some rare butterfly?

User currently offlineClickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9628 posts, RR: 68
Reply 11, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6200 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

here is a link:

http://www.laep.org/uclasp/ISSUES/butterflies/el_segundo_blue.html


User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 32
Reply 12, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6149 times:

From the laep.org website clickhappy linked, here are some approximate dates:

"Historical conflicts-LAX dunes. A major cause of conflict arose from events attendant to the expansion of the Mines Field into the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The major radar installation (VOR) was located on a 60 acre site purchased in 1950. Home construction on the remainder of the dunes continued unchecked until into the 1960s. With increasing air traffic necessitating construction of the north runway, safety considerations and the onset of jet age noise, residential living conditions became increasingly difficult. In a 1965 referendum, over 66% of homeowners elected to be bought out with the remaining property condemned. Between l965 and l975, 822 homes were vacated and over 2000 people relocated. The $60 million cost was 75% reimbursed by the federal government."

Tom at MSY

[Edited 2004-01-13 23:10:38]


"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineJsnww81 From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2030 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 6075 times:

The Los Angeles World Airport authority undertook a HUGE and very controversial homeowner relocation program in the 1960s and 1970s. Their goal was to eliminate noise lawsuits by purchasing and demolishing homes in the neighborhoods that butted immediately up against LAX.

These included three main areas:

Playa del Rey: This is the area that we've been talking about in this thread. It was a pretty well-off area, comprised of beach-style homes built in the 1930s and 1940s - similar to El Segundo and Redondo/Hermosa Beach. Unfortunately, after the north runway complex was opened in 1959, these homes were directly underneath departing aircraft. This was one of the first areas to be cleared under the program.

South Westchester:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Beat Hagen


These homes were were literally only a few hundred yards from Runway 6L/24R when it opened in 1970. They were acquired and removed from 1970-1975 - this area was the scene of some of the fiercest opposition from homeowners.

After the demolition of the houses, Westchester Boulevard was realigned across the former neighborhood (see the road paralleling the runway on the left of the picture) although some of the old streets are still visible. If you land on 24R, look to the right, and you'll see some of the former streets and foundations of South Westchester.

East Westchester:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon


Another neighborhood doomed by the construction of the north runway complex. As you can see in the photo above, there was once a neighborhood where all those rental-car and long-term parking lots used to be - complete with an elementary school!

Unfortunately, aircraft on final to the north runways passed just a few hundred feet overhead - hard to imagine, but you came as low over the housetops as you now do at Chicago Midway and San Diego! It's easy to see why this neighborhood was singled out for removal.

If you look at the photo above (from 1971) you can see that almost half of the homes in East Westchester are already gone. In a stunning example of urban foresight, the city turned the area into the lovely mess of barbed-wire fences and parking lots that it is today.

Apparently this program was HUGELY controversial, and lawsuits stemming from eminent-domain home removals tied up the LA courts and city council for years. If those neighborhoods hadn't been removed, there'd be homes coming right up to the perimeter fence at LAX - although it's hard to imagine the airport feeling more hemmed-in then it already does.


User currently offlineN960AS From Switzerland, joined Apr 2000, 466 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (10 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 5966 times:

There was an article about the area in the LA Times in the last year or so. It was from the point of view of a now middle age man who grew up in the area and it had a picture of him against the fence with a plane taking off in the background. Kind of sad, I always used to wonder about this myself until I saw the article.

Similar thing going on in Kinlock in St. Louis by Lambert. Except that area hasn't been totally cleared but lots of streets blocked off and lots of streets with one house on them, etc., very creepy.


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