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City Council Eyes Changes To LA Street Memorial Rules

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council is considering changes to how the city allows and removes temporary street memorials in the public right-of-way.

The city Bureau of Street Services and the Bureau of Sanitation was asked in December to submit a report to the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee following a motion introduced by Councilman Mitch Englander to “establish compassionate guidelines and policies” for street memorials similar to those established in response to the 2008 Chatsworth Metrolink train crash and other disasters.

According to Englander, the city continues to enforce what he describes as “inconsistent policies” pertaining to street memorials, including how long a memorial is allowed to remain in the public right-of-way, and which city department is responsible for both the notification and removal processes.

It also remains unclear who should be contacted for notification of removal of any memorial, as well as the notification process, since some memorials are removed without any advanced notice, according to the motion (PDF) filed in November.

However, Englander also expressed support for the families of victims in hit-and-run collisions and other deadly incidents, calling for the city “to be thoughtful about its policies as it pertains to street memorials.”

Currently, the Los Angeles Municipal Code calls for all items blocking the public right-of-way to be immediately removed.

Englander spoke to KCAL9’s Dave Lopez about the issue.

“We’ve got to do something. Because often times they will be there for six months or a year. We do not have a time limit,” he explained, adding that he’s not suggesting a time limit is set.

“I am suggesting that we all get together and come up with something that is reasonable and fair and that we have a proper way to memorialize those we’ve lost.”

The debate will hit the council floor within the next month.

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