Hollywood Sign Has Tourists Heading for the Hills - and Residents Heading to Court

Not so long ago, the hike to the Hollywood sign was one of Los Angeles’s better-kept secrets. Now, in the words of one local resident, it’s a “goat rodeo”.
Every weekend the narrow, winding streets of Beachwood Canyon – or Hollywoodland, as the original land developers called it – turn into a chaotic mess of tour buses that can’t turn around, cars that can’t park and pedestrians with nowhere to go to the bathroom unless they knock on people’s doors and beg. For four years, residents have been growing more exasperated with their city councilman and with public agencies who have either denied the problem exists or pointed the finger at each other instead of getting together to solve it. Now the residents have decided enough is enough, and called in the lawyers. “It’s a matter of time before we’re burned out or someone is hit by a car. We’re a time bomb,” says Sarajane Schwartz, a former actress who lives near the top of the hill with her husband and devotes herself full-time to what has become an epic battle with City Hall.
Schwartz is spearheading one of two lawsuits to accuse the city of repeatedly violating its own regulations and actively encouraging the tourists to come by building a roadside viewing site and opening a new pedestrian access point to the sign. One was filed last December, the other earlier this month.