An alley which runs through the southern tip of Bell Gardens City Park has been closed to traffic in an effort to stamp out illegal activity in the area.
City officials last month barricaded the alley that traverses the park from Emil Avenue to Perry Road just north of Florence Place. The alley was once used by homeowners in the area, but the homes were demolished last year when the park was expanded, and the alley became a familiar route of drug dealers and their customers, said Steve Steinbrecher, the city's director of community services.
"It was kind of like a . . . drive-through drug stop," Steinbrecher said.
Steinbrecher said the area was especially difficult for police to patrol because the moment a squad car appeared in the alley, drug dealers fled into the park.
Steinbrecher said the barricades will stay in place for three years, the estimated length of time it will take to complete the expansion of the park.