One giant sign made Upper Beachwood Canyon what it is today, but a bunch of little signs are tearing it apart. About two weeks ago, the Hollywoodland Homeowners Association (HHA) put up several road signs high in the Canyon, on Beachwood, Ledgewood, and Mulholland Highway, directing tourists toward a Hollywood Sign viewing spot at Lake Hollywood Park. This week they've agreed to take two of the signs down. But opponents still aren't satisfied and the fallout has been landing in the Curbed Inbox. Buckle your seat belts, the roads around here are windy!
How did this all start? With the confusing topography of the Hollywood Hills, and confused tourists' attempts to find LA's most famous landmark. Visitors searching for the Hollywood Sign "were stopping and pulling u-ies on those little streets," according to Todd Leitz, City Councilmember Tom LaBonge's Communications Deputy, so the HHA voted to create signage to direct people up to Lake Hollywood Park, which Leitz called "the approved viewing area."
Another issues is Google Maps: Leitz says the Hollywood Sign Trust is working with Google to change the GPS directions to lead to Lake Hollywood Park (right now they lead to the dead-end street Deronda Drive).
But to guide people to the Hollywood Sign, LaBonge's office hooked the HHA up with the Department of Transportation to get the signs made and installed, and they first went up about two weeks ago.
An anonymous emailer who opposes the signs (he declined a request to tell us his name) forwarded Curbed a flyer railing against them and the process of approving them. The flyer complains that the HHA didn't provide enough notice ahead of their vote on the signs, but the HHA did agendize the motion to create the signs, according to LaBonge's office.
In the last week, the Curbed Inbox has filled up with email complaints about the signs, most forwarded by the same anonymous tipster (no, we can't figure out who is behind this campaign or how many people are against the signs). The emails mainly complain that the signs are an eyesore or cause more traffic by bringing in more visitors, but a few also mention the GPS switch-up. So it's not just that the signs are there--it's where they're telling people to go.
With many of these parties refusing to identify themselves, or talk to us, there's probably more to this SignGate story. But we do know there's been enough unhappiness over the signs that the HHA agreed to remove two of the lowest ones, at Beachwood/Ledgewood and Ledgewood/Belden. It's not clear how many signs were put up, but those two signs were scheduled to come down "immediately," according to a statement sent to us by the HHA on Wednesday night. That hasn't satisfied our anonymous complaining emailer, who wants all of the signs taken down. UPDATE: We've been forwarded an email originally sent from firstname.lastname@example.org saying that the notice about the two signs coming down, which was posted on the HHA's website and sent to us by someone listed on the website as a board member, "is not accurate." A new board has just been elected, so it looks like someone on the outgoing board made the statement. The email says nothing's happening with the signs yet.