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New Hollywood Sign report recommends aerial tram, replica sign

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The report offers a slew of fixes for the city’s Hollywood Sign problems

View of Hollywood Sign
Commissioned last year, the report addresses concerns over traffic and access issues around Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign.
Michael Gordon | Shutterstock

A new report commissioned by the city of Los Angeles and released Wednesday proposes a host of options for how to mitigate traffic in and around Griffith Park—and how to give residents and visitors the opportunity to get close to the Hollywood Sign.

“The Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park are being loved to death,” City Councilmember David Ryu said in a statement announcing the study. “This is a world-renowned icon, and possibly the only one without proper access to it. It’s like having the Statue of Liberty without a visitor’s center, viewing platform, or even a sign telling you how to get to it.”

Authored by Dixon Resources Unlimited, the report offers no less than 29 suggestions the city could consider for achieving these goals, ordered by priority and likely cost. Some proposals, like a gondola or tram to and from the sign, are ambitious and would probably cost a fortune. Others, like clearer signs directing walkers to trails and viewing points, would be easier and cheaper to implement (though far less exciting).

Some of the suggestions are truly outside the box.

The report proposes that the city create a second Hollywood sign that would be more easily accessible to visitors. To avoid the sight of two identical signs overlooking the Los Angeles Basin, this one would be constructed on the north side of Griffith Park, facing the San Fernando Valley.

Ryu has already submitted a motion to the Los Angeles City Council requesting that city staffers study the report’s suggestions and figure out which should be implemented and how much each proposal would cost.

Estevan Montemayor, Ryu’s spokesperson, tells Curbed the councilmember plans to wait for this analysis from city staff before deciding on which proposals deserve closest examination.

Depending on which suggestions city officials eventually choose to take, members of the public may find it significantly easier—or more challenging—to view and visit the sign.

That’s because many of the report’s proposals for easing traffic and improving safety in the neighborhoods around Griffith Park are meant to discourage visitors from entering these areas. They include increased parking enforcement, higher fines for violations, limiting access to street parking, and even closing off certain streets during peak hours.

One suggestion that the authors of the report deem a high priority measure would even block views of the sign at certain points so that drivers on Mulholland Highway won’t pull over for a quick photo.

Other proposals would create new opportunities for both residents and out-of-towners to enjoy the city’s most recognizable landmark.

For instance, the report suggests using a shuttle to bring visitors through the Beachwood entrance to Griffith Park, which connects to the Hollyridge hiking trail and offers easy access to the viewing area right behind the sign.

The city closed that entrance to pedestrians last year, making it significantly harder for members of the public to reach the sign. Because vehicles can still pass through the gate, a shuttle service could ferry hikers to and from the trail.

Better public transit options would also make it easier for visitors to get to and from Griffith Park, and the report suggests expanding DASH bus service in the area.

Another big picture plan would be installation of a visitor center where people could view the sign, learn about its history, take photos, and board a shuttle to the sign. The authors of the report point to an empty storefront near the Hollywood and Vine Metro station as one possible location for such an attraction.