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Shoes on a wire -- is this the new graffiti? California cities crack down.

February 6, 2010 |  9:04 am

All tangled up

Critics call it "shoefiti," and some cities, including Long Beach, are beginning to liken the problem to graffiti and other types of vandalism

If you look up, you might spot them hanging from telephone wires and power lines by their shoelaces.

Some people say the suspended sneakers, high-tops and boots mark a place where drugs are sold. Other lore holds they commemorate a killing, mark gang territory or vow retaliation.

Others insist throwing shoes tied together by their laces over a wire is just a child's prank, an effort to leave a mark that's as pointless as sticking gum under a table.

Long Beach wants to get a handle on what has been a persistent blemish on the urban landscape. City leaders this week requested a system to remove shoes from utility lines within 72 hours.

Read the full story here.

-- Tony Barboza

Photo: "Shoefiti," complicated by bureaucracy, has plagued Long Beach for years. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times