LOS ANGELES — The City Council unanimously approved spending $100,000 toward a traffic study in and around Griffith Park and the Hollywood sign March 31.
The study — to be paid for with discretionary funds from 4th District Councilman David Ryu — will focus on the western side of Griffith Park and provide recommendations on improving public access and traffic around the Hollywood sign and its various hiking trails, while preserving the natural wildlife.
“For too long, the city and the community have been bogged down in litigation, shifting problems from one neighborhood to the next,” Ryu said. “We need to improve the visitor experience for park users, quality of life for our neighbors, and most importantly, the public safety for all.
“By approving funding for this expanded access and mobility study, we will finally move forward on smart solutions for both visitors, residents, and park users alike,” Ryu added.
The city will use the same consultant and engineering firm from the Griffith Park Circulation Plan, which was implemented this month with seven-day-a-week bus service program to the observatory as a way to reduce traffic and improve parking.
Ryu’s office also announced that the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks will begin blocking pedestrian access from Beachwood Drive to a popular hiking trail near the Hollywood sign, beginning April 18.
The department recently announced it was going to begin blocking the access due to a recent court order, but the exact date for the closure was not announced at that time.
The court order stems from a legal battle over access to the Sunset Ranch Hollywood Stables on Beachwood Drive, which provides horseback rides in Griffith Park.
“The court ruled that pedestrian access along the road to Sunset Ranch was incompatible with Sunset Ranch’s legal easement and impeded their ability to conduct business,” the Department of Parks and Recreation said in a statement last month.
Starting April 18, the department will redirect pedestrians away from the Beachwood Gate to other nearby access points, including Canyon Road and the Vermont Canyon entrances.
“The Department of Recreation and Parks is committed to working closely with Councilmember Ryu to improve accessibility and the visitor experience in and around Griffith Park,” General Manager Michael Shull said. “The recently expanded Griffith Park Shuttle Program and this newly approved comprehensive study are all part of our long-term goal to manage the ever-growing popularity of the Greek Theatre, Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park hiking trails.”
Ryu also announced he was using additional discretionary funds to hire increased enforcement, from LAPD and the Department of Transportation, to manage visitors in the hillside neighborhoods adjacent to Griffith Park during the spring break holiday period, April 7-17.