Council OKs $100K for Park “Smart” Solutions for All
The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously (10-0) today to approve Councilmember David Ryu’s request to spend $100,000 of the 4th Council District’s discretionary funds on a comprehensive study for improving park access, safety, and mobility in Griffith Park and around the Hollywood Sign.
In particular, the study will focus on the impacted areas near the western side of Griffith Park. The study’s goal is to provide recommendations on best practices for public access and Hollywood Sign viewing along the various hiking trails, while continuing to protect the urban wilderness elements of the Park.
“For too long, the city and the community have been bogged down in litigation, shifting problems from one neighborhood to the next. We need to improve the visitor experience for park users, quality of life for our neighbors and most importantly, the public safety for all,” said Ryu. “By approving funding for this expanded access and mobility study, we will finally move forward on smart solutions for both visitors, residents and park users alike.”
The 4th Council District and the Dept. of Recreation and Parks will work with the same consultant and engineering firm from the recently implemented what’s known as the “Griffith Park Circulation Plan,” which, in part, had the outcome of new daily DASH bus service program to the Observatory to improve the overall traffic flow, safety and public transportation access to the park. Today’s approval for $100,000 in funding will extend that consultant’s contract, according to Ryu spokesperson Estevan Montemayor.
“The Department of Recreation and Parks is committed to working closely with Councilmember Ryu to improve accessibility and the visitor experience in and around Griffith Park,” said Michael Shull, General Manager, Department of Recreation and Parks. “The recently expanded Griffith Park Shuttle Program and this newly approved comprehensive study are all part of our long-term goal to manage the ever-growing popularity of the Greek Theatre, Griffith Observatory, and Griffith Park hiking trails.”
Beginning April 18, 2017, the Dept. of Recreation and Parks will close pedestrian access to the portion of Griffith Park at the Beachwood Gate to comply with a recent court order which requires the city to facilitate access to nearby Sunset Ranch. According to a press release, the department will continue to promote its recently expanded Griffith Park Shuttle Program to help park visitors access to enjoy the park and to reduce traffic.
Additionally, Ryu announced the dedication of additional discretionary funds to hire increased enforcement, both from the Los Angeles Police Dept. and the city’s Dept. of Transportation, to manage visitors in the hillside neighborhoods adjacent to Griffith Park during the upcoming Spring Break holiday period between April 7th and 17th.