GRIFFITH PARK (CBSLA.com) — Forget hiking up to see the Hollywood sign. How would you like to be ferried up there in gondolas?
Mayor Eric Garcetti is considering having an aerial tramway built to take visitors up to the top of Griffith Park to see Los Angeles’ iconic landmark.
The idea could ease traffic and parking problems. Nearby residents have complained for years about visitors clogging up hillside streets and hiking paths.
The idea got mixed reactions. “I’d rather take it than walk,” said one visitor.
“It kind of takes the whole adventure part away from what we like to do,” Brodi Nicholas said.
“Personally, I think it’s such a nice journey to sort of see the surrounding area,” said Rachael Haines, at tourist from London.
Sarajane Schwartz lives on near by Beachwood Drive. She said this is not the first time she has heard talk of gondolas.
In the 1980s, someone in the neighborhood proposed a similar plan. “This was from the east side, and it was totally over the land of Griffith Park,” Schwartz recalled.
The entrance on Beachwood Drive to the Hollyridge Trail to get up to the iconic sign has been closed. Schwartz wants it to stay closed and said she definitely does not want gondolas shuttling people in the sky above her neighborhood.
“It’s only half a plan. The other half is securing all these neighborhoods, no matter what they come up with,” she said.
She thinks gondolas could be appealing to tourists. “But it would not resolve the basic issue, and that is the closing of the park gate.”
Her biggest concern is “you don’t want to destroy that iconic image of the Hollywood sign that everybody’s going up there to get,” she said.
Councilmember David Ryu represents the affected areas. A spokesperson in his office released this statement: “The gondola is one of many ideas Councilmember Ryu is open to. However, at this point, it’s just an idea. His first priority is to move forward on the park access and mobility study.”
The City Council recently approved $100,000 to be spent on that mobility study, which also looks at different ways to enter the park and safety measures.