Solutions to seedy look of Sherman Oaks

Solution to seedy look of Sherman Oaks

I spent part of last weekend pealing stickers and scrubbing graffiti from the steel poles and removing dead weeds from tree wells between Cedros and Van Nuys and I have a few observations. The good news is that the problem is simple to remediate. The problem is that it takes a concerted effort on the part of residents, business owners and local government to make the changes necessary.

Bottom line, the graffiti contractors are making the situation worse. I know that the contractors paid to solving the problem are over worked. However, they are in large part responsible for the grubby look of the boulevard.  

They are painting steel poles instead of using solvents to remove the offending paint or marker. The city needs to tell their contractors to STOP painting steel lamp posts. They should use “Crud Cutter”, paint solvent, steel wool to scrub the paint and finally clean rags to wipe the pole down when done. Cleaning the poles is a simple process but it requires muscle and patience. Any resident can do this work with some supervision. The same process should be used for parking meters.

Second, the same graffiti contractors are NOT using the city approved paint on Concrete lamp posts. That is why the lamp posts look messy. Further, the contractors are not consistently applying the paint. The city rules call for the paint to be a uniformed height and a clean sharp edge. They should NOT paint the steel plate cover at the bottom of the poles or the steel band that hold street signs to the pole.

Third, the green poles installed by the Sherman Oaks BID are a magnet for stickers. When removing the stickers spray the “Crud Cutter” on the stickers and then gently scrub the sticker with a wire brush. Be sure to avoiding scratching the green paint. The paint job on the poles is not the best and so need to be treated with kid gloves.

Finally, the contractors should be held accountable for the quality of their work. It is up to the city to properly supervise the work of its contractors. The Neighborhood Council should voice their displeasure directly to the city. The Sherman Oaks Homeowners should weigh as well. After all, the condition of the Ventura Boulevard should concern all Sherman Oaks residents.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jason Cohen October 21, 2011 at 12:10 AM
Sean I own Alive Fitness a private training center, I have been in the fitness industry for 20yrs. My point on my own personal struggles with the landlord, flow over into the LOOK of the buildings, their surroundings and the appeal. Most just dont care. They get the rent and run to the bank, for me to re locate is not the answer as I have spent tens of thousands on my facility. Point is...YES I will agree owners should take pride, I certainly do, however like I said the whole place (from Sepulveda to Van Nuys needs a face lift. Why does Studio City look so dam good, even Encino with (not a lot of destination spots) look so good, Sherman Oaks looks like its old run down and dirty.
Ellen Vukovich October 21, 2011 at 07:23 PM
Recently, representatives from SOHA and the Chamber of Commerce met to discuss the declining condition of the Boulevard which is the subject of this blog. The Chamber agreed to become more active in working with the businesses, etc. Another comment asked why does Studio City looks so good? SC receives lots of money from its popular weekly Farmers Market. Because of this strong flow of money, they have been able to maintain and improve their stretch of the Boulevard. They also have a BID in place.
Sean McCarthy December 03, 2011 at 07:53 AM
Two months ago we started a dialogue about the poor conditions along Ventura Blvd., including the over grown planters, trash and graffiti. The city comes through with yet another way to brighten the look of the street with paint and a program that has been around for almost twenty years. The City Office of Beautification has a paint specifically formulated for concrete lamp posts that blends the many colors of the aggregate used in the concrete itself to cover graffiti. When the city came out with the paint in the early 1990's they issued specific protocol along with the paint that it be applied uniformly, be applied a minimum height and that a degree of professionalism be used in its application. I took before and after shots of the pole on the south / west corner of Cedros and Ventura to give you an idea of the difference a little TLC combined with materials available for free from the city can make.
Sean McCarthy December 05, 2011 at 05:50 AM
Here are a few more pictures of another lamp pole, this is one of fourteen painted this weekend between Columbus and Nobel on Ventura Boulevard. This is completed in a few hours with city supplied tools and a few volunteer hours. The Boulevard can be cleaned and maintained by Sherman Oaks businesses ans concerned residents with or without the benefit of an assessment.
Sean McCarthy February 20, 2012 at 11:48 PM
This past weekend I finished painting all of the concrete lamp posts along Ventura Boulevard with the city approved paint in accordance with the city's specifications. There are approximately 38 between Sepulveda and Van Nuys Boulevard. There is a lot that still needs to be done by the city, local groups: The paint that has been slapped on every steel lamp post still needs to be removed, by hand. Your city contractor needs to be told to STOP painting steel lamp posts for three reasons: First it is not necessary when paint is easily removed with paint remover. Second I believe there is a city prohibition on painting steel lamp posts which apparently no one enforces. Third and finally, painting steel lamp posts is the white flag of capitulation. By painting the poles you are saying the taggers have won and you have given up keeping the city clean. It takes two minutes to splash paint on a steel pole and two hours to take it off. That's why I won't do this part of the cleanup alone. The Sherman Oaks Chamber, SOHA and the city are going to have to pitch in. I've done my part. What is Sherman Oaks prepared to do for itself?


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