Warner Bros. proposed to Los Angeles city officials on Monday that it would fund a $100 million aerial tramway from its Burbank lot to the Hollywood sign in an effort to alleviate traffic and aid the sign’s neighbors in their complaints.
An individual with knowledge of the proposal confirmed that the project will be titled the Hollywood Skyway and would take visitors from a parking structure near Warner Bros.’ Burbank lot to the back of Mt. Lee to a new visitors center in six minutes.
It would be the solution for tourists to see the sign without driving, finding parking, and hiking through the residential neighborhoods, which annoyed residents living in the adjacent areas. It would also be an additional revenue stream for the studio. The project, if approved, would take five years to complete.
In a statement to TheWrap, the studio said, “Warner Bros. has developed a proposal for the Hollywood Skyway that will reduce street congestion, improve safety, and ease neighborhood frustrations. The Skyway will also create a unique, first-class educational experience. Given our close proximity to the north side of the Hollywood sign, we believe we offer a solution that has the least impact on the environment–protecting and preserving Griffith Park – and the surrounding residential neighborhoods. We understand there are a number of possible solutions being considered, but we are confident the City’s feasibility study will show our proposal to be the best option–an option that can be built and operated at no cost to the taxpayer and that will provide public benefit to the City of Los Angeles and its residents.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, which first reported the news, similar solutions have been vetoed in the past due to concerns that it would lead to “commercial exploitation” of Griffith Park. An aerial tram idea had been floated in the past in an effort to raise revenue for the city, and Mayor Eric Garcetti in May 2017 suggested that a gondola from the Universal Studios area take visitors to the sign. According to The Times, Diane von Furstenberg’s son Alex von Furstenberg, who is an investor and philanthropist, is leading another effort to build a gondola from another undetermined location.
With Warner Bros.’ proposition, many might be concerned about the area’s wildlife. According to the Times, Warner Bros. facilities head Jon Gilbert said the company will make sure to minimize negative effects on the environment and to avoid obstructing the views of the sign from anywhere else in the city.
The studio would share ticketing revenue with the city, the studio said in a letter sent to Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department general manager Michael Shull and chief legislative analyst Sharon Tso.
“We know the problem is getting worse, and the city is looking for a solution,” Gilbert told the Times. “We believe we’re uniquely qualified. We’ve been around a long time, we’re local, and we believe we have a good answer.”