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Anti-Street Vending Boulders on Sidewalks At LACC Swap Meet Finally Removed

12:10 PM PST on February 23, 2023

photo via: Marco Morales
Sidewalks outside the LACC swap-meet are cleared after giant boulders were placed last December.

On Tuesday morning around 7 A.M., street vendors outside the LACC Swap Meet arrived at their location near Vermont Avenue and Melrose to find that the giant boulders that were placed two months ago on the sidewalk were being loaded onto yellow trucks, and the sidewalks were finally cleared. 

Last December L.A. TACO reported on the sudden placement of over 20 boulders that lined the outside of the swap meet. At the time street vendors were bothered to find that just two weeks before Christmas, they would not be able to set up like they normally do each weekend. 

At first, vendors alleged that the one responsible for the boulders had to be the owner of the swap meet Phillip Dane, who in the past has been accused of being hostile towards vendors outside the swap meet. He's been accused of placing illegal no parking signs, placing fencing in the area to block off vendors from setting up, and more. 

However, at the time it was not confirmed whether or not Dane was responsible for the placement of the boulders, although a statement from council member Hugo Soto-Martinez stated via a press release that individuals associated with the LACC swap meet were the ones behind the boulders and "No Parking" signs appearing. 

Back in December, the placement of the boulders was temporarily halted by the Bureau of Street Services but not all boulders were removed from the area, over 20 of them were still visible on the sidewalk and inside the swap meet, until now. 

L.A. TACO did reach out to the Department of Public Works and via email, they confirmed that the removal of all boulders in the area was conducted by the Bureau of Street Services after notices of violation were issued by the bureau's Investigation and Enforcement Division. 

After further investigation, it was determined that the ones responsible for the installment of the boulders were the Business Improvement District. L.A. TACO did reach out to the East Hollywood Business Improvement District for an explanation of why the boulders were placed there in the first place but they have not responded as of yet. 

In the meantime, street vendors outside the swap meet are rejoicing at the clear sidewalks and those who were unable to set up are looking forward to returning to their original locations. 

“This was possible because of everyone who supports us and because we are no longer scared to speak up,” street vendor Marco Morales said in Spanish. “We learned that our voices have power too and we are happy that we were able to help make this removal happen.”

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