Residents sue L.A. in Hollywood sign tourist tussle

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hollywoodsignOn must summer days, cars filled with tourists make their way up and down Beachwood Drive – looking for that perfect place to stop and snap a picture of the Hollywood sign.

Needless to say, the locals don’t like it very much.

But are the tourists just a nuisance – or an actual safety hazard?

A new lawsuit could help answer that question.hollyridgetrailmap

Hollywood Hills homeowners have sued the city of L.A. They’re calling on officials to halt access to Griffith Park via the Hollyridge Trailhead at the end of Beachwood Drive. They say the constant traffic could block fire engines. They also want the city to close down a vista spot on Mulholland Drive that they say is a magnet for illegal activity.

The city has not commented on the lawsuit.

The battle over Beachwood has been going for years, pitting wealthy homeowners against tour operators, hikers and bikers. Opponents of shutting down Beachwood access to the Hollyridge Trail would pinch access to one of the city’s few wild areas, putting pressure on other areas of Griffith Park.

The dispute was a factor in the recent 4th District City Council race, which David Ryu won in a run-off over Carolyn Ramsay, a former aide to Tom LaBonge, who some Hollywood Hills residents accused of siding with tourists at their expense.

The trail beneath the Hollywood sign was closed down for about nine months as the city studied the traffic problem. It reopened in January, with a new gate to limit car traffic. That was not nearly enough for some residents.