By Wei Ming Dariotis
Replacing an old, faded, “Dead End” sign doesn’t seem like it would be an issue, but this year when this issue came up for Quesada between Third and Newhall, it didn’t just spark debate, it caused serious reflection for some residents.
Long-time neighbor Carla Eagleton asked us to consider, “What does it mean to live on a ‘Dead End’ in a neighborhood that has been dismissed as just that–a dead end?”
A number of shootings and several deaths from gun violence over the past several years have made neighbors especially sensitive to the idea of living on a “Dead End,” but we all knew that too many big trucks drive up the right-hand side of the block and are forced to back (slowly) out when they get to the end and find it does not go through.
The old sign definitely needed replacing.
However, “Dead End” is the only sign in current usage, so we were told it was our only option. Hoping they would understand that it was deeply inappropriate given our situation, we asked the City to make an exception. We asked them to recognize that the words “Dead End” can mean more than just that there is no way to drive through: It can mean you have no hope; it can mean your government has forgotten you; it can mean there is no future here.
Those of us who live on Quesada have so much pride in the place and delight in the camaraderie of the neighborhood. We love to say we live in the Bayview!
And we’d like to let drivers know that the lower side of our block is “Not a Through Street”–but it is definitely not a “Dead End!”