Hollywood Sign Neighbors Fume at Tourist Invasion

The Hollywood sign was once an epic billboard promising homebuyers a tranquil lifestyle high above the congestion ofLos Angelesbelow.

Almost a century later, the sign is the city’s most famous landmark and traffic in the hillside community boastsNew YorkCity-worthy gridlock.

Residents say tourists weren’t a problem until two years ago, when GPS and Internet maps started giving directions to the sign.

Now, scores of tourists pour into the neighborhood daily in rental cars and tour vans, causing safety hazards and headaches ranging from sheared off fire hydrants to fender-benders to blocked driveways, not to mention noise, trash and car exhaust at four main picture-taking vistas.

The succinct message recently painted on a dirt patch –“tourists go away” — sums up the sentiments of many residents.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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