Tags: hollywood | sign | reopens | noise | traffic

Hollywood Sign Trail Reopens to Chagrin of Nearby Homeowners

By    |   Thursday, 08 Jan 2015 08:59 AM

The Hollywood sign reopened to tourists on Monday after the completion of a $206,000 gate project aimed at limiting vehicle traffic on weekends and holidays, and appeasing nearby homeowners who say blocked driveways, public urination, and noise have skyrocketed in recent years.

"On the weekends, there is going to be preferential parking for local residents," Griffith Park Ranger Albert Torres told the Los Angeles Times.

"A security officer will be at the gate to direct other traffic to the Griffith Park Observatory area, which has access to other trails leading to the Hollywood sign. So folks who are not from the area are going to have to hike quite a bit more to get to the Beachwood Canyon gate on Saturday and Sunday."

According to an in-depth report from The Hollywood Reporter, nearby residents who once sought out Beachwood Canyon because it was serene and out-of-the-way have in recent years found themselves and their homes in the middle of a tourist trap teeming with thousands of visitors a day.

"There is rising, palpable tension between the residents and visitors. Everybody is infuriated. I shudder to think if any of these people coming up here have weapons in their cars. One of these days someone will get shot — it is that bad," said Tamer Riad of Rockin' Hollywood Tours.

Residents say that the sign became ground zero for selfie-snapping tourists of all stripes just a few years ago, with the advent of GPS navigation systems and smartphones. Once people could type "Hollywood sign" into their device and get customized directions, they started opting for a hike up to the sign over well-worn tourist destinations like the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Litter like used condoms and lit cigarette butts that threaten to set the canyon on fire have become all too common though, as have people who've fallen down on the hike and injured themselves.

The problem has gotten so bad that residents have turned into activists, getting "Google, Garmin, and other tech giants to literally take their exclusive neighborhood, where the average home costs $1.5 million, off the map," according to The Reporter.

Joe Salaices, superintendent of recreation and parks operations, thinks that with the new gate — as well as a few more fences and road improvements that are on the way — a balance can be struck between the residents and the tourists.

"That area wasn’t being managed properly, and now it is," he told the Times. "So I’m happy for visitors to the park and people who live nearby."

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The Hollywood sign reopened to tourists on Monday after the completion of a $206,000 gate project aimed at limiting vehicle traffic on weekends and holidays, and appeasing nearby homeowners who say blocked driveways, public urination, and noise have skyrocketed in recent years.
hollywood, sign, reopens, noise, traffic
421
2015-59-08
Thursday, 08 Jan 2015 08:59 AM
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