Monday, September 11, 2006

Sign of the Times


LOS ANGELES, CA. – In a deft display of efficiency, Patty Malone, Field Deputy for City Council Member Tom LaBonge, responded to cyclists’ complaints of restricted access to Mt. Hollywood Drive in Griffith Park by picking up the phone and having signs installed that settle the issue.

Mt. Hollywood Drive has been closed to automobiles for years and, consequently,
has become a very popular route for both cyclists and hikers.

In fact, last year Tom Breckner of the Department of Recreation and Parks went so far as to write:
“Perhaps you might not be aware, paved roads in Griffith Park are accessible to recreation and commuter cyclists during park operating hours? The north-south access within Griffith Park is Mount Hollywood Drive, a paved road which connects the Park's northwest corner via Oak Canyon Drive (from either the Travel Town Museum or the Mineral Wells Picnic Area) to the Griffith Observatory and Los Feliz/Hollywood (via Vermont Canyon or Western Canyon).

Mt. Hollywood Drive is open to bicyclists, as is Vista del Valle Drive, which is the paved, upper mountain route which parallels the Park's east-west mountain ridge from Mt. Hollywood Drive to the Commonwealth Nursery (Commonwealth Avenue).

If you have been attempting to cycle on Mt. Hollywood and/or Vista del Valle, and for some reason you have been prevented, please let me know. There should not be any prohibition for recreation or commuters cyclists from using these paved roads which are only closed to motorized vehicle traffic.”

I pointed to Tom that the large “ROAD CLOSED” sign does not seem to support his thundering endorsement of a cyclist’s right to ride Mt. Hollywood and that it would seem ill-advised to advise cyclists to ignore road signs in any circumstance. Silence. Crickets. More silence.

A year passes and Mt. Hollywood Drive is now busy with construction. The Department of Water and Power is building a retaining wall and installing new pipe along the roadway. There is some conflict and confusion between the Department of Water and Power flagmen and some cyclists. Phone calls are made to the DWP. Phone calls are made to the Griffith Park Rangers Station. Appeals are made at the Griffith Park Master Plan Working Group to Rec & Park staff. All to no avail.

And then came Patty…

"Road Closed" August of 2005

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