- Warner Bros. has proposed building an aerial tram in Los Angeles that would take visitors to and from the Hollywood sign, as first reported by the Los Angeles Times. The one-mile tram would take passengers between the studio's lot in Burbank and the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park in about 6 minutes.
- In the proposal to Los Angeles leaders, the studio said it would pay for the $100 million project, which it has dubbed the Hollywood Skyway. The plan also includes building a visitor center near the sign.
- If the City Council approves the proposal as is, the studio would share ticketing revenue with the city. The project would likely take about five years to complete, starting with planning and an environmental review.
Los Angeles has the rather unique policy of accepting and reviewing unsolicited project proposals. The city's transit agency has reviewed about 100 unsolicited proposals and is moving forward with a handful of them. One that was recently under review is for a different gondola project that would connect Union Station with Dodger Stadium. The agency views the private sector and nonprofits as important partners in building and sustaining a flourishing transportation network.
L.A.'s perennial horrible traffic has prompted more private companies to offer solutions recently. In fact, that was one of the prime concerns from which the Warner Bros. tram proposal was borne. Tourists headed to and from the Hollywood sign are clogging nearby residential roads and creating safety issues. The gondola is an idea reportedly intended to ease traffic by providing alternative transportation.
If logistics are deemed feasible, it likely will be difficult for L.A. leaders to turn down a project that would create a new mobility option at no cost to taxpayers. But that is a non-trivial "if." The aerial tram would be built in a hilly area with plenty of wilderness, and construction could negatively affect wildlife and the environment. Warner Bros. promises to minimize the project's environmental effect and to avoid blocking views of the Hollywood sign from other parts of the city.