A street behind Pacoima Junior High School that has become a "thoroughfare for undesirables" was targeted for closure Friday by City Councilman Howard Finn.
Noting that loiterers on Cranford Avenue appear to be vagrants and older youths who do not attend the school, Finn said they were a "nuisance and a bad influence on the kids who go to that school."
"When people gather around a schoolyard, there's usually drug or other criminal activity, and it's an invitation to gang activity," Finn said. "If they need places to congregate, it should not be around a junior high school."
Finn asked the city Department of Public Works, police and fire officials to study the feasibility of closing Cranford Avenue permanently and to make a report to the City Council within two months.
Between School, Freeway
The street is between the rear of the school and the Golden State Freeway, and there are no houses along it.
School officials had complained to Finn, and parents had presented a petition to administrators protesting the loitering.
Although Jerry Trapp, administrative dean for the 2,000-student school, said he did not know of any drug use by the loiterers, he said school administrators are still concerned.
"Just today, some of them threw rocks on campus and broke two car windows of two faculty members," he said.
He said a teen-age student was recently abducted from the street by a group of men and taken to a house. He said that the girl was eventually released unharmed and that she informed police of the incident after arriving home.
"What's more, the area has become a haven for abandoned cars, furniture, everything you can think of," Trapp said. "It's a real health hazard."