City Council Committee Discusses Access to Hollywood Sign and Runyon Canyon

The panel considers routing tourists a different way to avoid blocking streets near the landmark and also how to lessen the negative effects of the park's increased popularity.

The possibility of directing tourists to view the Hollywood Sign at Griffith Observatory and creating a long-term parking solution for park users at Runyon Canyon were among two ideas pitched to solve ongoing Hollywood issues at a City Council committee meeting Tuesday morning.

Councilman Tom LaBonge called on the advice of local police officers and the Department of Recreation and Parks to report on changing GPS systems to  at the Arts and Parks, Health and Aging Committee meeting. No formal action was made at the meeting other than to continue discussing the issue and come up with a possible solution in the next month.

Residents who live in the neighborhood below the sign reported issues with tourists blocking roads and causing car accidents at a , citing GPS systems that lead tourists up narrow residential streets as the main culprit.

George Abrahams, a Hollywood resident who lives on Durand Drive, brought a photograph to Tuesday's meeting of a car accident he had with a tourist who was trying to find their way to the Hollywood Sign.

“It’s essential that the GPS and Internet maps be set to guide tourists on a safe and direct path,” he told the committee.

He said that tourists are the “lifeblood of the entertainment industry” and he does not want to stop them from coming into the neighborhood, but called on the city to find a safe solution that leads viewers to the sign.

Los Angeles Police Department Officer Maggie Dillard of the Hollywood Division said that she doesn’t receive a lot of calls related to tourists in the area. She went on to say that she receives very few reports of crime in the area near Lake Hollywood Park, other than reports of people smoking.

LaBonge also explored the option of directing more tourists to the Griffith Observatory, where the Hollywood Sign can be seen in the background.

 “If we can direct them to the observatory, they get a two for one,” he said.

Runyon Canyon

As Runyon Canyon grows in popularity among dog walkers and hikers alike so do issues of unleashed dogs, which were discussed at Tuesday’s committee meeting.

City officials say the area has become infiltrated with dogs, and many owners disobey the law and let them run free around the neighborhoods at the entrance of the park.

“The dogs do go everywhere, and the soil is being destroyed,” LaBonge said. “Someone suggested the park should be closed for a year just to let it recoup because it’s been beat down.”

A representative from the Department of Recreation and Parks said that closing the park would not be a good idea due to safety issues without citing specifics. 

The popularity of the park has caused erosion because some hikers do not follow designated trails, said Recreation and Parks Assistant General Manager Kevin Regan.

He also said that it has brought increased traffic to the streets and neighborhoods surrounding the area, creating similar problems to the ones hikers have brought for residents who live near .

Yet, unlike Fryman Canyon, Runyon Canyon does not have its own designated parking lot for visitors. 

Regan called Runyon Canyon a “victim of its own success" and suggested that the city look into long-term parking solutions. 

“It’s such a great place, it’s such a nice park, so many people enjoy coming there, that it’s just getting overwhelmed,” he said.

LaBonge suggested that the city conduct a user survey to find out how many residents use the park on a daily basis. He also made tentative plans to come back to the issue in a month, with the possibility of scheduling a public hearing on the matter.


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ruth July 27, 2011 at 06:55 PM
Wow! City Council actually MIGHT do something .. Maybe they will answer e-mails & phone calls about proposed HOLLYWOOD MILLENNIUM MONSTER TWIN SKYSCRAPER (taller than any building in the city) PROJECT...It obstruct views of the Hollywood HIlls. NYC Developers trying to get around height restriction law to get this done.. anyone look forward to a future view of a WALL of Skyscrapers instead of the H. Hills ?? Also trying to get around zoning law to build the massive project on property not big enough for it's massive size.. GOODBYE getting up and down VINE STREET! Where IS Garcetti?? (His district.) WHERE are the rest of them? DEAD SILENT about this..AS IF they have no idea..Looking THE OTHER WAY as we and Hollywood are about to BE RAPED by this NYC developer.. L.A. CONSERVANCY is against it. they had the Capitol Building designated a HISTORIC LANDMARK.. the size of project will most likely upset the foundation & put archives and whatever else is considered of value in the Capitol Building AND The Capitol Building itself at risk. Where are our COUNCIL PEOPLE?? SILENT!! Sitting by doing NOTHING while Hollywood and Views of The Historic Hollywood Hills, and Views FROM The Hollywood Hills sold off to the highest bidders..would these losers get off their butts and do something if this was happening in THEIR communities? PROBABLY..
Jonathan Little July 27, 2011 at 07:14 PM
What ruth said! Hellooo public officials wake up!
Shaune Steele July 27, 2011 at 07:23 PM
I totally agree with Ruth's comments (above) re the Hollywood Millennium skyscraper project. Why are these plans allowed to get as far as these apparently have without input from the community? Or did I miss that? It's disgraceful. The planned buildings are most certainly out of scale with the rest of Hollywood. Hollywood is just starting to come alive again after years of neglect, and what do we end up with? Skyscrapers that block views, cause congestion, and will make Hollywood look like any other anonymous big city in America. Sure wish we had someone in power that would consider the history of our area, what it means to the world, and what things make it a wonderful place (we have enough bad things already) to live and visit. At least the Conservancy is against it and we can fight through them. Los Angeles, and with it Hollywood, are simply run by dimwits who have no concept of planning for the future or making a beautiful Hollywood. Just build whatever and give the City the tax revenue. Sickening.
Robert Martine July 27, 2011 at 07:57 PM
Why would apartment dwellers be less entitled to use the street? How can you declare they have "not enough parking", but you're the one who isn't providing parking for your guests? You don't own the parking in front of your residence. It is a public street. If you want to restrict usage for everyone, that's fine - so long as visitors and residents pay the same amount.
ruth July 27, 2011 at 08:36 PM
Hollywood United Council..PLUM Committee..(Planning and Land Use Committee).. has been nice enough to put The Hollywood Millennium Project on their Agenda for discussion at their Thursday, August 4th Meeting, 7:00P.M., at Seventh Day Adventists Church, 1711 N. Van Ness..(corner of Hollywood Blvd)... As far as we know only one meeting with developers took place and no one knew about it. All Hollywood and Hollywood Hills Residents SHOULD have been informed. Seems like this one is trying to get slipped by all of us.. They SAY they are in the 'review' stage ..Environmental Impact, etc. and If anyone wants to add their comments about it e-mail.. srimal.hewawitharana@lacity.org ..the city environmental impact guy..We got the developers up to our community to show the plans which were FRIGHTENING and once our residents saw the renderings they are up in arms about it.But many had no idea..before...We got the CIty Document of the proposed plans and they ARE trying to get around existing height laws and zone laws. The politicos/city council members are leaving us out on our own here, no one returns calls or e-mails. REMEMBER when they run again! We will.. and if no one voices concerns and/or opinions it will probably move forward.. So spread the word and get loud..it is up to all of us.


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