[LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER] May 2016

Allison B. Cohen

Allison B. Cohen

The Hollywood Sign is one of if not the most recognizable landmarks in the world and for the small Beachwood community in its shadow, the 350-foot long sign with its 45-foot tall letters has become the 800 lb. gorilla they both love and hate.

Solutions, such as residential restricted parking even near the area’s small business district—to stem the crush of tourists trying to get near it for a photograph—are now pitting wealthy homeowners versus merchants and raising questions regarding public access versus public safety.

Petitions are flying everywhere, and today threats of boycotting the area’s tiny business district and lawsuits are now commonplace.

The problem started about 10 years ago as smart phones became ubiquitous offering GPS directions to the once hard-to-locate entrance at the end of Beachwood Drive to the sign. Since then, tourists in cars and on foot have transformed the once quiet area into what looks like the parking line trying to get into Disneyland or out of Coachella.

The issue has been one of the most emergent to solve for new Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu. No one disagrees the situation has become untenable. Some fixes are now in place, but so far, no one has been able to come up with a solution that will work for the entire community.

According to Ryu’s Chief of Staff Sarah Dusseault, the councilmember will release a “Hollywood Sign Action Plan” soon, addressing and hopefully providing solutions for the entire hillside by the landmark.

Relief could not come soon enough for everyone involved: residents, businesses, hikers in the area and even tourists.

“It’s a bad experience for everyone,” said Beachwood resident Jack Conrad. “Bad for the tourists, bad for the businesses. Bad for the residents.”

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