Monday, September 26, 2016

Fancy-Schmancy West Hills Residents Debate Controversial Street Name Change

By Liz Del Cerro, Special to the Quilt


A normally quiet area of West Hills has become Ground Zero for a contentious fight over the name of a street, pitting neighbor against neighbor.

Hillary Drive, a road less than a third of a mile long, is at the center of an increasingly fractious dispute among those living in the area thanks to a small contingent of residents who want to change its name.

“Let’s make West Hills great again,” reads a post on the “Scavenging Coyote Heights”  page of, a private community-based website known for creating arbitrary neighborhood boundaries and then assigning them asinine names. “We should change ‘Hillary Drive’ to ‘Trump Boulevard!!!!!!!!!!’” 

Bill Lowthert, the resident who wrote the suggestion, was immediately pilloried online by 37 people in his close-knit neighborhood, none of whom he has ever met in person.

Hillary Drive street sign in ooh-la-la "exclusive" West Hills prior to the recent controversy. File photo.
“You know, I was completely kidding when I posted that. I thought the excessive punctuation made that clear,” Lowthert, 43, who is registered as an independent voter, told the Quilt. “But the way everyone jumped on me — ‘racist’ this, ‘hateful’ that — so now I say f_ck it, let’s actually change the name! It’ll be bad enough if we have to deal with her in the White House for the next four years. None of us want to be reminded of that every time we drive down our street.

“...Oh, and by the way, I got eleven anonymous emails from people around here who actually support changing it to ‘Trump’ but, surprise!, are afraid to say so publicly.”

Proponents of the name change have taken it upon themselves to attach new signs to the old ones.
"It's confusing," said a lost Papa John's delivery boy. "And this Tuscan Six Cheese is starting to congeal."
Others residents are decidedly against the proposed street name change.

“Look, I speak for all of West Hills when I say none of us are really all that thrilled with Hillary,” says Joyce Chadsey, who has lived on Hillary Drive for the past eight years. “But  Trump? Trump?!  Christ almighty no. And besides, I just spent a fortune on a personalized mailbox from that has my entire street address on it. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to buy another new one.”

Related: Creepy, handsome man in shitty car snapping pictures of West Hills street signs worries local residents.

Hillary Drive doesn't actually look this nice in person, but the lens sure brings in those hills. Staff photo.
Hillary Drive, which is home to 22 houses, runs perfectly straight for the entirety of its approximate 1500 foot length.

“Okay, well, that is ironic,” says Albert Sousa of the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Street Signs and Drains-to-Ocean Dolphin Stencils Division. “But I think we’ve come up with the perfect compromise: We’d rename Balmoral Lane — which is incredibly crooked — to Hillary Lane. And then that stretch of road where Sherman Way turns into Platt...? People are always speeding on it so it’s obnoxiously loud. It’s by the Bell Creek concrete channel — so it’s butt-ugly. And it’s confusing: Am I on Sherman Way? Am I on Platt? Who knows where the hell I stand! We’ll rename that section Trump Road. That should satisfy all these assholes.”

The ugly, loud, offensive gutter-adjacent stretch of Platt (or is it Sherman Way?) and crooked,
crooked Balmoral (inset) could be renamed to keep West Hills residents' happy.  Staff photos.
Back on Hillary Drive, however, not everyone is thrilled with the current recognition the issue has brought the neighborhood.

“Most of us residents never wanted this kind of attention on what used to be a quiet street,” says Hillary Drive resident Dolores Currier. “So I think our best bet is to just rename it ‘Gary Johnson Avenue’ so we can go back to a life of complete anonymity.”

No comments:

Post a Comment