Thursday, October 23, 2008

Man installs barrier on street, forcing residents to walk to their homes. L.A. officials are trying to resolve the dispute.

Maria Freyre could not believe her eyes last week when she pulled onto the Lincoln Heights street where she has lived for 45 years.

A neighbor had erected a steel gate across Forest Park Drive, blocking 18 residents' access to their homes.

A simmering neighborhood dispute had prompted Gardner Compton's barricade. Forest Park Drive crosses private property, Compton said -- his. He was willing to let his neighbors walk on foot along the narrow dirt road, but cars were no longer allowed.

Angry residents called Los Angeles authorities, who pledged that they would move quickly to resolve the dispute and have the gate removed from the street, which has been in use since 1924.

Residents say they are lugging groceries past the gate and using miner-style flashlights to hike back and forth at night to their cars.