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LA City Council asks for study of aerial tram to Hollywood Sign

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It’s one of many proposals the city is considering to cut down on congestion around Griffith Park

A valley and mountain. On the mountain is a sign that reads Hollywood.
The city will further study 19 different traffic mitigation measures.
Liz Kuball

The Los Angeles City Council asked staffers Wednesday to investigate more than a dozen strategies to ease traffic around Griffith Park, including an aerial tram to the Hollywood Sign.

“For far too long, our city has gone without a comprehensive plan to address safety, access and mobility around the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park,” Councilmember David Ryu said in a statement.

Ryu, whose district encompasses all 4,511 acres of the park, commissioned a report last year on ways to ease congestion in the neighborhoods around it, where residents have long complained about foot and vehicle traffic created by visitors trying to get a better look at the Hollywood Sign.

Prepared by outside consultant Dixon Resources Unlimited, the report included 29 recommendations to combat congestion, ranging from an electric shuttle to the construction of a second Hollywood Sign that could be seen from the San Fernando Valley.

At the recommendation of the city’s recreation and parks department, some of these options—including the replacement sign—are no longer being considered.

But the council’s action Wednesday ensures that staff will continue to evaluate 19 measures recommended in the report.

Part of that means that the city will perform a feasibility study on the possibility of building an aerial tram to the sign. That’s an idea that’s picked up steam over the past year, as the city has fielded two different proposals from private developers to build the transportation system.

Most recently, Warner Brothers unveiled a preliminary plan for a tram that would depart from a parking lot near the studio’s backlot north of Griffith Park. The company would fund the project itself, splitting ticket revenue with the city.

A competing proposal from Alexander von Furstenberg, son of fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, would create an aerial tram that picks up passengers near the Griffith Park Zoo.

City staffers have been asked to take a closer look at both proposals while preparing the feasibility study.

But a tram system isn’t the only possibility that the council is now considering. Other proposals include the above-mentioned electric shuttle, which would take visitors through a Beachwood Canyon gate that the city closed to pedestrians in 2017.

The gate provides access to the popular Hollyridge Trail, which takes hikers to a vantage point directly behind the Hollywood Sign; it was locked after owners of a horse ranch alongside the trail sued the city, arguing that hikers were interfering with its business.

The city is also considering expansion of DASH bus service to the park, new pickup and dropoff points for ride hailing services like Uber and Lyft, and even installation of small Hollywood Sign replicas around the city, where visitors could snap a quick selfie.

Regardless of which measures the city ultimately chooses to implement, it may be hard to satisfy those who live closest to the famous sign. At a meeting of the council’s arts, entertainment, and parks committee last week, Beachwood Canyon residents complained that existing traffic mitigation measures weren’t working and questioned the effectiveness of nearly every proposal included in the Dixon report.

“We’re being overrun,” said resident T.J. Escott. “This abomination called the Dixon study only exacerbates an already untenable situation... it’s all about getting more people up into these substandard streets to see this incredible Hollywood Sign.”

Griffith Park

4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (323) 913-4688 Visit Website