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Mapquest Agrees to Modify Hollywood Sign Directions

POLL: Do you think Griffith Observatory is a safer alternative for tourists who want to view the Hollywood sign?

Councilman Tom LaBonge recently shared what should be good news for residents who live near the Hollywood sign.

Mapquest has informed Council District 4, the area in which the sign is located, that it has complied with a request to change directions to the iconic landmark, according to LaBonge's newsletter.

Searches for the Hollywood sign now lead users to Griffith Observatory, a viewing site approved by the Hollywood Sign Trust. 

Access to the Hollywood sign has been an issue in recent years as GPS instructions have led tourists through Hollywoodland's residential streets to a scenic viewpoint in the middle of a neighborhood.

The viewpoint is public land, but the influx of tourists has raised a among residents concerned about emergency vehicle access, increased fire danger due to discarded ciagrette butts and increased littering.

The city has been and working with the neighborhood to cut down on the negative impact.

LaBonge met with residents last week who aired their concerns near the Hollywood sign. LaBonge's newsletter mentioned next steps of action include meetings with tour bus operators and community leaders to address further concerns of "increased tourism and its relationship to fire and road safety."

DISCUSS: Do you think Griffith Observatory is a safer alternative for tourists who want to view the Hollywood sign? Take the Patch poll and leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Chandler Poling August 07, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I live exactly in this part of town and while I have seen a swell of tourists in this area, I feel that if the city could organize a paid parking lot and expand a more formal viewing platform it could help: 1) Deter tourists from that spot because they have to pay. 2) Use the parking fees to clean up brush for fire prevention. 3) Relieve the already congested Observatory. Just some thoughts.
Scott Zwartz August 07, 2012 at 07:21 PM
This is not a tourist issue. This is a fire and paramedic danger. Furthermore, LaBonge has other plans to attract more tourists into the Hills, e.g. Lake Hollywood area and the stables. The Fire Danger: In 2005, the LAFD Medical Director, Dr. Ecstein, stated in USA Today that Los Angeles's fire & paramedic statistics were a lie. Since then, the lies have gotten greater not smaller. In 2011, relying on false data from the LAFD which Council President Eric Garcetti knew or should have known were bogus, Council President Garcetti slashed an additional $200 Million from the LAFD budget. The FS stations contiguous to this part of the Hills have No First Responders much of the day. The LAFD knows there are no first responders for the hills because they have a huge screen that highlights for them the stations without any first responder. On a normal afternon, 70% of the Fire Stations contiguous to this part of the Hills have no fire engine and no paramedic. If there is a brush fire in the Hills, then the back up units from out-of-the-area have to respond, which means if another emergency occurs in the Hills, then closest fire or paramedic is downtown or south of Melrose. Century City has had to respond to Hollywood.
Bobbi Snow August 07, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Why can't we have signs on both sides of the hill and at all entrances to Hollywoodland saying, "Residents/Visitors Only Vehicle Passes Required Beyond This Point"? The signs, alone, would deter some tourists. If we allow tour buses to still go up to the Lake Hollywood overlook, but not allow passengers to get off the buses and smoke, that relieves the added pressure on Griffith Park, and still brings patronage to Beachwood Market, the Beachwood Cafe, the florist and the watch shop. Perhaps the City could even purchase the land for sale above the market parking lot, and build an outlook point for tour buses to congregate - again - with NO SMOKING ALLOWED, and fines for any tour bus driver, via cameras, who makes an exception to the no smoking rule. Obviously there is no clean-cut solution to tourists coming into Hollywoodland, because the Sign attracts millions of dollars to our City every year... and tearing it down (as some of our residents would much prefer) would be a selfish, ludicrous act.
David Markland August 07, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Mapquest? What is that? Is it like a Thomas Guide?
Andrea Michelle August 08, 2012 at 03:04 AM
I know someone who lives RIGHT under the Hwood sign and it is absolutely NUTS with the tourists coming up there. Besides not really knowing where they are going, they drive up the itsy bits driveway and clog the only entrance/exit. I cringe each time I have to drive up there in the daytime. I know that there is talk of putting up a gate, just for vehicles- people can still walk up there. While I think this is probably the best idea long term, it will just move all the people parking further down to the tiny side streets. Point it, there's not much room for the hundreds of tourists that head up to the sign. Im happy that people want to see such a major landmark of hollywood, but theres got to be something better...
Russell Smith August 12, 2012 at 06:42 PM
If people don't want to deal with tourists, then they should move away. God knows they have enough money. That's what they get for living in a fire-hazard zone. All that land around the sign should be protected parkland. There! I said it.

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