‘Hollywood Stuntz,’ a.k.a. Jamie Lao, spreads word of his interview

Those who live in the upscale hillside homes of Beachwood Canyon and Hollywoodland have long grumbled about tourists making the pilgrimage up the hill, hoping for that perfect shot. But in recent years, they say, the flow of visitors has grown intolerable. The once-sleepy Hollywood tour bus business has become increasingly competitive. Just a few years ago there were only a few operators offering Hollywood sign viewing tours. Now, there are more than 40 tour companies running buses and vans in and out of the canyon. Then, there are the technological advances. Many tourists now use GPS devices on their cars and phones to map out the best views. And the directions send them not just down the main roads but into narrow residential canyons. Tourist websites also offer tips on prime locations. One even directed visitors to Deronda Drive, where “residents will have lemonade stands set up, offering the perfect thirst quencher after an exhilarating hike to the sign. They’re wonderful folks!” Residents say they are bothered by the traffic but are most concerned about safety issues because the curving hillside roads were not designed for so many cars and pedestrians. “We live in the middle of an area that is very attractive to people all over the globe,” said Fran Reichenbach, president of the Beachwood Canyon Neighborhood Assn. “We knew that when we moved here, but in the last few years it’s really gotten out of hand.” In an effort to deal with the crowds over the summer, the city tested the use of road checkpoints where tourists were warned of parking restrictions in the area and directed to a vista point above the Hollywood Reservoir where they could see the fabled sign. It’s the latest of several tactics the city has tried, with decidedly mixed results.

Woman struck by Tri-Rail train in Hollywood

Hollywood police at the scene along Hollywood Boulevard where a woman was struck by a commuter train on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013.

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6:18 p.m. EDT, October 8, 2013 A possibly suicidal woman lying on train tracks just south of the Tri-Rail station at Hollywood Boulevard was struck by a commuter train early Tuesday, police said. The woman, thought to be in her late 30s or early 40s, was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to Hollywood Police Lt. Osvaldo Perez. It might be a suicide, Perez said. The incident was reported shortly before 7 a.m. just south of the station, which is just west of Interstate 95. During the investigation, Hollywood Boulevard was temporarily closed in both directions near the Tri-Rail station. The southbound I-95 exit to Hollywood Boulevard was also temporarily closed Tuesday morning. The woman’s death remains under investigation.