Residents of the hilly neighborhoods surrounding the famed Hollywood sign — the symbol of Los Angeles’ signature industry — what is opposite business long blamed the attraction for worsening traffic, parking nightmares and disruptive tourists. Now one of the movie and television business’ biggest players, Warner Bros.
The 95-year-old studio on Monday told city officials it would foot the bill for an aerial tramway to transport visitors to and from the Hollywood sign, starting from a parking structure next to its Burbank lot. 100 million, according to a person close to the company who was not authorized to comment. The tramway would take visitors on a 6-minute ride more than 1 mile up the back of Mt. Lee to a new visitors center near the sign, with pathways to a viewing area. T-owned entertainment company said, is to give selfie-seeking visitors a way to see the famed letters without driving and hiking through residential neighborhoods, such as Beachwood Canyon. The traffic problem has worsened in recent years with the rise of social media photo-sharing sites such as Instagram, ridesharing apps including Uber and Lyft, and navigation services such as Waze.
Similar solutions in the past have been shot down over concerns that they would lead to the commercial exploitation of Griffith Park. Many have also voiced concerns about how such a project would affect wildlife in the area. Gerry Hans, a board member for the nonprofit group Friends of Griffith Park. But at the same time there are going to be people wanting to preserve Griffith Park for the great urban wilderness it is. Jon Gilbert, who is leading the effort, said the company had taken pains to make sure the proposed project would minimize the effect on wildlife and avoid obstructing views of the sign from elsewhere in the city. Solving the seemingly intractable problem will take innovative thinking, he said. Partial solutions are not going to do the trick, and people will continue to inundate the neighborhoods.