LONG BEACH — At 20th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, only two of six public telephones remain. The corner of 21st Street and Atlantic Avenue has no phones, and neither does the intersection of 17th Street and Orange Avenue.
The experiment of removing public telephones from some central-city intersections answers complaints by residents who suspected drug dealers and loiterers were the biggest users of the phones.
Since a City Council meeting almost two months ago, when city and General Telephone Co. officials pledged to work together, GTE has removed 10 telephones, according to GTE Division Manager Roger P. Reyburn.
The reaction has been positive, Councilman Clarence Smith said. Residents "say they can sleep now at night. They can go to the store" without being harassed, Smith said.