One Hollywood sign, many views

Living in the shadow of an iconic landmark that evokes the glamour of a bygone era must be a dream, right?

Not if you ask those who live near the Hollywood sign.

The Times' article Wednesday on the latest salvo by residents in their struggle with tourists who crowd their narrow hillside streets drew reactions from readers ranging from serious to satirical. Most (eight of the 13 letters we received) had little sympathy for the complaining Beachwood Canyon and Hollywoodland dwellers. One reader sided with the locals, and another suggested a new home for the Hollywood sign.

Here is a selection of those letters.

-- Paul Thornton, letters editor

A typical reaction was Porter Ranch resident Frances Sikorski's:

"Here we go again.

"First people complain about living near an airport; now others complain about living near the Hollywood sign. Were the complainers there before the sign? Probably not.

"Take down the sign and I bet their property values would drop. I was born in Hollywood and love the landmark."

Victoria Carlson of Burbank sympathizes with the locals:

"I walk dogs in the Beachwood Canyon area. Every day I witness gaggles of tourists who double park or park in red zones and then make the mad dash into the middle of Beachwood Canyon to pose for photographs featuring our iconic Hollywood sign in the background.

"Seems a lot of these tourists have little regard for their own safety. It's all about getting that award-winning shot, after all.

"I spend a lot of time in the Beachwood area, so I know how to navigate those twisted, narrow canyon roads. I'm always mindful of other vehicles as well as urban wildlife. (In recent weeks, I've had several deer run across the road right in front of me.)

"Something definitely needs to be done to protect the safety of tourists and locals alike, as well as preserve our historic hilltop neighborhoods and the parkland surrounding them. There has to be a happy medium somewhere."

Santa Monica resident Bruce R. Feldman has a modest proposal:

"To help the beleaguered Beachwood Canyon residents, let us in Santa Monica move their historic sign to our beautiful, tourist-friendly community by the sea.

"For many years now, our city officials have encouraged businesses, developers, workers and tourists to overrun our city. About 300,000 of them flood into our small town every day.

"That's how much we love all of those great folks from outside our area.

"So, let's bring the Hollywood sign here. I am certain that someone on our city staff can commission a study that will say attracting a few hundred thousand more people will not cause any more traffic than we have now. Our planners have done that before, so we could save some money by changing a few sentences here and there and reusing that study."

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