The Hollywood United Neighborhood Council passed a motion Monday night to request that three signs be installed by CD4 to direct traffic away from Deronda Drive, a narrow, winding road that people take to get to the Hollywood sign. The signs would be at Deronda and Legdewood, Heather and Ledgewood, and Ledgewood and Mulholland. The motion is a temporary solution for an ongoing problem that the HUNC discussed in depth at the meeting.
Newly re-elected Councilman Tom LaBonge stopped by to comment on the situation. The first priority, he said, is to change the GPS that leads travelers to the residential street in the first place.
“You have to direct people, or they will find their way,” said LaBonge.
The councilman said there would be less traffic on Deronda once the lake reopens at Hollywood Park Lake.
He also reiterated the importance of Hollywood as a tourist destination. “Chances are, you ask anyone getting off an international flight where they want to go, and they say Hollywood. Then they say Pink’s,” he said.
A resident asked LaBonge for protection from the hoards of tourists that visit the area every year.
“We want money from the city to solve this problem,” she said.
“I can’t give a commitment of money,” LaBonge said. “I can give energy, ideas, concepts and solutions.”
The councilman said he that can’t pledge any money on a long-term solution because he needs to make sure the police and fire departments are staffed.
He did, however, back the council’s temporary solution to install signs to direct traffic to a wider street.
“If there’s no signs, you can’t enforce things,” said LaBonge.
The council also passed two other motions related to the Hollywood sign: Invite a Department of Transportation/Council District 4-picked consultant to help the neighborhood come up with a long-term solution and organize a group made up of residents, the Hollywoodland Homeowners Association, and the upper and lower Beachwood Canyon Neighborhood Association to work on signage options.
Many residents came to Tuesday’s meeting to speak out about the proposed sign solution.
George Abrahams, who lives on Durand Drive, said that a tourist got into an accident outside of his house recently. The driver was following directions from Google, he said.
“Deronda is needed for access to emergency transiting towers,” he said. “We need to send them to a site that is really designed to receive tourists."
Other residents complained that signs have not worked in the past, and that it will just create a problem on another street.
In other council matters, LAFD Battalion Chief Joseph Castro spoke at the beginning of the meeting about the thousands of emergency calls the city received Sunday.
"It was one of the busiest days in history," he said.
Yet due to budget cuts, there were times during Sunday's storm when the city had no available resources to dispatch.
“Some people had to wait two hours for a response," said Castro. "First time it’s ever happened."
In other business, the HUNC voted to allocate $7,500 to the Wildlife Corridor Study in Griffith Park. The money will go toward the purchase of cameras and equipment. The study seeks additional funding from other sources.
Other meeting items and notes:
- The HUNC voted to allocate $1,500 for printing costs of the Friends of Griffith Park newsletter.
- The HUNC voted to allocate $2,000 for the purchase of health, hygiene and disposable supplies for Blessed Sacrament Social Services.
- The HUNC voted to allocate $2,000 to Gettlove for health, clothing, and other supplies.
- Nathan French of the 7th Day Adventist Church of Hollywood discussed "Just Food," a program that teaches high school students to grow organic vegetables and maintain their own gardens.
- French gave a report of "Hollywood 4WRD," a plan to end homelessness in the area. He said they are looking for people who can help on a "grassroots level who can help out with very basic things like dishes, towels, and things that people need when they move in.”
- French also reminded the community of Big Sunday on March 14 and 15.