This Morning Near the Hollyridge Trailhead, A Truckload of Spilled Manure

May 17, 2014 § 4 Comments

Overturned Rig Carrying Manure from Sunset Ranch, 5/17/14/Courtesy T.J.Escott

Overturned Rig Carrying Manure from Sunset Ranch, 5/17/14/Courtesy T.J.Escott


Photo Courtesy T.J. Escott

Photo Courtesy T.J. Escott


This morning a rig carrying a load of manure from Sunset Ranch overturned on North Beachwood Drive; fortunately, no one was buried by it. But on a normal Saturday, this might have been the outcome, as the street is always crowded with pedestrians headed toward the Hollyridge Trail.

The only reason pedestrians weren’t out in force today is that the Trail is closed due to the construction of a fence and gate. When completed, the gate will keep out cars (except for those going to the Ranch), but not pedestrians, despite the fact that they walk up in large groups, several abreast, on a street that lacks sidewalks, blocking cars and emergency vehicles.

In the interest of public safety, Hollywoodland residents have united in petitioning the City to close the Hollyridge Trailhead permanently, and the LAPD, LADOT and LAFD have concurred. Nevertheless, Rec and Parks Interim General Manager Mike Schull has ignored all recommendations and plans to reopen pedestrian access the Hollyridge Trail via Beachwood Drive as soon as the gate is completed. Councilman Tom LaBonge, after promising a 180-day closure of the trailhead for further study, has reneged on his promise and now agrees with Schull.

For those who believe the Hollyridge Trail has always open to hikers and their vehicles, a bit of history. The land where the Hollyridge Trail is located was originally part of the Hollywoodland Tract–private land. In 1944, Hollywoodland’s developers deeded the parcel, which includes the Hollywood Sign, to the City of Los Angeles, which annexed it to Griffith Park. Access to the parcel was supposed to be via Canyon Drive, not Beachwood Drive. The Hollyridge Trailhead and unpaved parking lot are a much more recent development, having been put in illegally by the City a dozen years ago.

Although Hollywood residents like to hike the Trail as much as visitors do, we are willing to forgo our own access in the interest of safety–not only our own but that of visitors, whose treatment for injuries and heat stroke has been needlessly delayed by the gridlock on Beachwood Drive. Another pressing concern is the increased fire risk brought into the Canyon by thousands of visitors a day, many of whom smoke with impunity. As we face the driest summer in Los Angeles’ history, the chances of Hollywoodland going up in flames increase with each new day. On a gridlocked street with no alternate access, all it would take is a single spark.

Update, April 13, 2017: The Beachwood Drive gate is now closed to pedestrian access

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§ 4 Responses to This Morning Near the Hollyridge Trailhead, A Truckload of Spilled Manure

  • Ian says:

    I bike in your hood frequently and I see what a madhouse it’s become. Can you elaborate on LAFD concurring with the residents to close the trail? I would have thought that, of all the agencies, LAFD could order it closed as a fire hazard.

    • I don’t know what the protocol is, but many of us feel the LAFD, LAPD and LADOT are under the thumb of the City Council and Mayor’s Office, both of which are more concerned with tourism than public safety. Please ride carefully–it’s very dangerous to be a cyclist, driver or pedestrian here.

  • martin says:

    “Although Hollywood residents like to hike the Trail as much as visitors do, we are willing to forgo our own access in the interest of safety…”

    No, not all of us. I 100% understand and agree with you on the concerns of safety on our street, however, as a resident I do not feel that full closure of access with solve this problem, so please don’t speak for all of us. Also, I’ve heard that they are implementing full permit parking on the weekends allowing only residents to park there. What are your thoughts on this? Full closure seems like an extreme solution to this problem.

    • Good point–I should have said that those of us who’ve attended recent meetings on the matter are willing to forego access. My understanding is that permit parking is going into effect, though not for a few months. I don’t know what my thoughts are, except that my area has been excluded via secret meeting between the business owners and the City. Why?–so their employees can park all day long.

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