While tourism as a whole benefits Los Angeles, tourism in the Hollywood Hills, particularly around the Hollywood Sign, poses real challenges for our hillside communities.
Councilmember Raman is leading on reducing these negative impacts of tourism on residents of the neighborhoods surrounding the Hollywood Sign, on both sides of the 101 in the Hollywood Hills. Our goal is to support access to the Hollywood Sign that is orderly, safe, and enjoyable for residents and visitors.
Hollywood Sign Tourism & Access to Western Griffith Park
The Hollywood Sign is an icon of Los Angeles, and is consistently one of the top three most visited tourist destinations in the city. With the rise of social media in the past decade, we have seen the popularity of taking a picture with the sign increase greatly, with people aiming to get as close as possible to the Sign.
While this issue has been ongoing for many years, there has never been any consistent funding or additional resources provided to this area for managing the influx of tourists, nor has there been a clear annual traffic management plan. Our office has been working to change that.
Council District 4 has used discretionary funds to deploy additional traffic control on the busiest holidays and weekends, and successfully secured additional funds in the City budget for dedicated Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) Traffic Control Officers to work the Hollywood Hills as a whole. For 2023, expecting another rise in tourism after COVID, we further expanded those efforts, securing an additional $200,000 in the fiscal year 23-24 budget for traffic control. Over the summer of 2023, we worked iteratively with LADOT and LAPD to enhance deployments and increase flexibility during peak hours in order to be as effective as possible. Based on our learnings of what the most effective deployments were, we will continue to advocate in the budget cycle and with the departments for these resources to be provided regularly to this region.
Beyond traffic control staffing, we are working to explore additional means to manage traffic congestion, parking issues, and visitor management. To date, we have passed six motions through Council to both give us information and implement some initial improvements and investments.
- Permanent fencing will be installed along the Mulholland Hwy (CF 23-0701) that will obscure the view of the Sign from areas where it is extremely dangerous for both pedestrians and automobiles to stop.
- Our office will be funding 24/7 Visitor and Vehicle Counters for Lake Hollywood Park (CF 23-0721) that will help us assess the level of demand and usage of these facilities. Currently, there is no accurate data.
- To reduce three point turns at the top of Canyon Lake Drive, and create accessible loading areas, and reduce congestion, we have initiated the planning and design of a roundabout at the junction of Mulholland Hwy and Canyon Lake Dr (CF 23-0705), and are seeking funding in the FY24-25 budget.
- We have asked for LADOT to study the impacts of adding Paid Parking at Lake Hollywood Park (CF 23-0706), and this report is expected to come back shortly.
- We have also initiated LADOT to study where Tour Bus regulations may be required for the neighborhoods east of the 101 (CF 17-1115-S1). Tour Bus regulations have been formulated for the neighborhood west of the 101, and will be implemented shortly (CF 17-1115).
More potential solutions still need to be explored. Such issues could include an information and public safety booth or facility at Lake Hollywood Park, a visitor center in the heart of Hollywood, public shuttling options to reduce the amount of private vehicles, and new public safety and tourism information and management staffing resources. For tracking all these items and any new priorities our office has convened a Hollywood Hills Working Group to help discuss potential priorities in detail.
Hollywood Hills Working Group
As part of our intervening efforts, we have established a Working Group with representatives from local neighborhood associations, Neighborhood Councils, and Griffith Park stakeholder groups. This Working Group meets monthly and is a space for in-depth discussions on what we are working on. While the meetings are closed to members of the Working Group, we expect those members can then share those conversations with their respective communities and gather feedback. The agenda, minutes, and documents for the Working Group can be found here when they are approved:
Tour Bus Issues in the Hollywood Hills
West of the 101, residents of Hollywood Hills West have long had to deal with a large number of tour buses operating on hillside streets. In 2021, the City of Los Angeles finalized a new ordinance adding section 80.36.11 to the Los Angeles Municipal Code, giving us the ability to better regulate the travel and behavior of tour buses on city streets. LADOT worked to study the volume of tour buses and the streets they were operating on and finalized the following report, found here, that was approved by Council.
Responsible tour bus operators will still be able to operate on Mulholland Drive, but will be able to be ticketed for stopping, standing, or parking on Mulholland Drive. Tour buses may be ticketed for operating on narrower local streets where LADOT has found safety issues with their presence on those streets.