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Feasibility studies planned for Hollywood sign

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles City Council committee agreed to move forward Sept. 26 with feasibility studies of an aerial tram, visitor center and other changes to the area around the Hollywood sign aimed at improving safety and traffic.

Dixon Resources Unlimited, a transportation consulting firm, was hired by the city to conduct a comprehensive analysis on how to enhance the visitor experience at the sign and address problems created in surrounding neighborhoods by the thousands of visitors who flock to the area each year.

A joint report from the Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst and the Department of Recreation of Parks examined the 29 recommendations made by Dixon and found that 20 are feasible, seven others require further study, and two — including a second Hollywood sign — were not feasible.

The Arts, Entertainment, Parks and River Committee approved the city report and issued a number of instructions for moving forward on feasible strategies, including conducting an environmental review of the aerial tram proposal.

“Today is a huge step toward bringing safety, access and mobility solutions to the Hollywood sign and Griffith Park,” Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu said. “These strategies lay out a pathway towards sustainability, safety and equitable park access to our beloved park and iconic sign.”

The Dixon study examined several proposals, including small ones such as additional bathrooms and sidewalk improvements, which were found feasible.

Some of the larger ideas, such as the creation of an aerial tram and a visitor center, also were deemed feasible, as was an electric shuttle service connecting the nearest Red Line station with the North Beachwood Drive park entrance.

Public speakers at the meeting voiced both support and opposition to various parts of the report. Ryu stressed to the audience that no final decisions have been made and the committee’s action was just a step forward in assessing the feasibility of the recommendations.

As to a second Hollywood sign, the joint report concluded it would be “extremely problematic.”

“To develop and install a second Hollywood sign on the opposite side of Mount Lee in the Santa Monica Mountains will be extremely problematic,” the report said. “The opposite side of Mount Lee overlooks Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Hollywood Hills and Mount Sinai Memorial Park and Mortuaries. Parking in this area, other than at both memorial parks, is scarce and there are no established hiking trails in the vicinity of this proposed location. The environmental impact of a second sign are unknown and would likely require extensive study.”

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