• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Residents air Hollywood sign grievances at meeting

September 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Hollywood residents sound off over the steady stream of tourists trying to get a closer look at the iconic Hollywood sign. Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge held a community meeting where area residents aired their grievances.

For decades tourists from around the world have been flocking to the Hollywood sign for a closer look at the iconic landmark -- but now living near Hollywood history -- has become a living nightmare for some residents -- who say the tourists have worn out their welcome and have become a safety hazard.

"I come home sometimes I can't get into my garage, I can't get into my house and they're in my backyard constantly because I'm right under the sign," said Diana Knoll, Hollywoodland Homeowners Association.

Residents say every year the situation gets worse with more walking tours, vans and tour buses, even school buses making the trek to see the sign.

The streets leading there are windy and narrow. They were built in the 1920s. And residents say the canyons can't handle the massive influx of people.

"Personally I've been in a head-on collision with a tourist who was following an inaccurate Google Map and they were looking for the Hollywood sign, I was coming around, they were on the wrong side of the road and they smashed right into my van," said George Abrahams, Beachwood Canyon Neighborhood Association.

But it's not just the traffic residents are concerned about: Diana Knoll is tired of picking up cigarette butts from her property.

"When tourists come here I must have 50 to 100 a day asking me how do I get to the Hollywood sign, and I that think homeowners that live up there have to deal with it," said "Melrose" Larry Green, E-Hollywood Tours.

It's become a passionate debate: How does the city accommodate tourists that are the lifeblood of Hollywood, while at the same time preserve the neighborhoods around the Hollywood sign?

"We want to try to find some solutions. One of the challenges is there's a great beautiful park all around it that's public space and how you balance it all out," said LaBonge.

There is a scenic viewing area in Griffith Park, residents say tourists have to go through their neighborhoods to get to the area. Residents hope the city can find other scenic areas that are not as intrusive.


Load Comments