LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Increased police and traffic patrols around the Hollywood Sign during the spring break period are set to begin today.
The extra patrols through April 2 will help improve traffic flow, provide security and monitor fire safety by curbing smoking and ensuring emergency vehicles have full access to the hillsides, according to City Councilman David Ryu.
``With tourism increasing in Los Angeles, we must be proactive in ensuring the safety of our neighborhoods, hillsides and iconic Hollywood Sign,'' Ryu said earlier this month after his motion dedicating $51,320 of his office's discretionary funds for the increased patrols by traffic enforcement and police officers was approved by the City Council.
The temporary influx of funds comes in the wake of the City Council's vote last month to analyze a study on ways to improve safety, traffic and tourist access to the Hollywood Sign.
Dixon Resources Unlimited, a transportation consulting firm, conducted a comprehensive analysis on how to enhance the visitor experience at the Hollywood Sign, and to address problems created in the surrounding neighborhoods by the thousands of visitors who flock to the area each year.
The study's 29 recommendations include smaller proposals, such as additional bathrooms and sidewalk improvements, alongside larger ones, including the replication of the sign on another side of the mountain, the creation of an aerial tram and a visitor center, and an alternative access plan at the Beachwood Drive gate that was closed last year as the result of a lawsuit.
Chris Baumgart, chair of the Hollywood Sign Trust, welcomed the additional funding.
``Councilmember David Ryu's motion to increase funding for additional traffic support and safety in the neighborhoods surrounding the Hollywood Sign demonstrate Council District 4's ongoing sensitivity to the residents' concerns about the impact of tourism in their communities,'' Baumgart said earlier this month.