Several small billboards that have for years lined Echo Park Avenue – some of them popping out of front yards and attached to the sides of garages – were removed this morning. Today’s activity comes after two illegal billboards owned by Vista Media* were taken down from Echo Park Avenue last November after years of efforts by Councilman Eric Garcetti. The illegal billboards, featured in a YouTube video below, were supposed to be removed as part of a controversial deal that opened the door to the digital billboards in Silver Lake Boulevard and other parts of the city.
A member of the crew dismantling the Echo Park Avenue billboard pictured above (located in the yard of an apartment building between Montana Street and Scott Avenue) said Garcetti was on hand this morning for the removal of the first sign.
Update @ 5:50 PM: The billboards are now owned by a company called Lamar Advertising, which purchased Vista Media last year. The billboards that were removed today were legal but company officials decided to take them down as a sign of “goodwill” after hearing they were an issue in a meeting with Garcetti’s staff, said Julie Wong, the councilman’s spokeswoman.
Echo Park Avenue is now virtually billboard free, with the exception of a large sign near Morton Avenue and one remaining small billboard south of Cerro Gordo Street promoting Pizza Loca’s “La Gigante.”[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrWSowP7JjU&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0]