City officials estimate that roughly 1.8 million visitors enter the park in a given year, potentially affecting the quality of infrastructure in the park and traffic in the neighborhoods that surround it.
The Los Angeles City Council will consider a motion on Tuesday from Councilmember David Ryu that calls for a report on how to improve safety in and around the park. Ryu also wants city staff to study possible traffic solutions—including charging visitors for parking.
Anastasia Mann, president of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council, tells Curbed that residents are increasingly frustrated over crowds in and around the park.
“It’s out of control to the point that there are those who want the park closed altogether,” she says.
Mann says visitors are creating traffic jams and fueling resident concerns about fire safety by smoking in the park.
Ryu’s motion also suggests that too many park users could “compromise the structural integrity of roads, trails, and a number safety features.” He asks staffers to analyze ways to mitigate erosion and water runoff, and to protect the park’s natural resources.
“We need to ensure this park can serve the next generation of Angelenos like it has served us, while protecting the environment and wildlife that call this Canyon home,” Ryu said in a statement.
Ryu’s communciations director, Estevan Montemayor, tells Curbed that the councilmember also wants to find a way to repurpose the site of a former tennis court, which was nearly converted to a logo-stamped basketball court before park officials shut down the project amid neighborhood opposition.
Montemayor suggests this part of the park could be re-landscaped, or converted to a seating area. “Nothing too obtrusive,” he says.
That report, prepared by transportation consultant Dixon Resources Unlimited, was released earlier this month and recommended a host of possible solutions to traffic problems in and around the park (including installing a second sign to divert some visitors away from the original).
Mann says that, once the Griffith Park study was announced, many residents wanted the city to take a closer look at similar issues around smaller Runyon Canyon Park.
The analysis prepared by the city would likely be far less extensive, but its recommendations could still have significant impact on area residents and park visitors—particularly if city officials decide to set up a paid parking system.
Last year, the city began charging drivers $4 per hour to park at the Griffith Observatory to manage long lines of cars coming in and out of Griffith Park. Shuttle service to the park was expanded at the same time.
Montemayor says Ryu is open to the possibility of new transit options that would ferry visitors to and from Runyon Canyon park.