On the heels of last year's wildly unpopular pilot program that opened up Griffith Park's Mount Hollywood Drive to traffic and parking (causing a chaotic mess of people looking for parking where there are no designated spots amid tourists ambling around), city officials are still trying to solve the messy puzzle that is safe, easy access for all to Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory, and Hollywood Sign viewing spots (to appease those put-upon Beachwood Canyon residents who are constantly fighting off people trying to see the sign from their neighborhood). A new proposal from the Department of Recreation and Parks and City Councilmember David Ryu includes charges for parking at the Observatory lot and in the Western Canyon area, and daily shuttles on Mount Hollywood Drive to see the Hollywood Sign and Observatory that would share the road with bikes and pedestrians, says Ciclavalley.
The new plan, set to be presented tonight by Ryu at a community meeting, would keep parking free at the lower lots in Fern Dell and the one by the Greek Theatre "to encourage more visitors to park and walk, bike or take shuttle service to the upper reaches of the park," says KPCC. The proposed shuttle, which would be "free or low cost," the plan says, would run daily with 15-minute headways. Revenue from parking fees would go toward funding shuttle service, which would run two routes—one between the lower parking lots and the Griffith Observatory, and another to link people to a designated Hollywood Sign viewing area and offer "intermittent access to the interior of the park," but not too much, for people who want to hike.
A possible issue with the Hollywood Sign viewing point, Ciclavalley notes, is that it sits on a tight curve in the road that could cause potential shuttle-cyclist-pedestrian issues as would-be sign viewers try to cross the one-lane road shared by shuttle buses, cyclists, and anyone else passing through on foot. (The road will still be closed to regular car traffic.) But more frequent shuttles are a big upgrade from the existing Griffith Observatory DASH service, which only runs on Saturdays and Sundays, and then only every 35 minutes.
More information on the public meeting tonight is available here.
· New Griffith Park Plan to Impact Hikers and Cyclists [CiclaValley]
· Griffith Park proposal calls for parking charges, increased shuttle service [KPCC]
· Hollywood Sign NIMBY Battle Has Spilled Over Into Griffith Park [Curbed LA]