Second in a series: Street closures are an integral part of location shoots, and the Los Angeles City Council recently asked the city’s Department of Transportation to make L.A.’s streets more film friendly in advance of the expected boom in local production once the state’s new $330 million film incentives take effect next year. The department says it’s happy to pitch in, but the initial price tag will be an eye-widening $635,000.
LADOT posts and removes more than 558,000 temporary parking restriction signs every year, and the department says about 52% of all sign postings in the city are for filming projects. More production will mean more signs, and more signs will mean more workers to put them up and take them down. The cost of a single temporary sign is $17.08: $1.10 for the sign itself, $12,19 to install it and $4.89 to take it down, LADOT wrote in a memo to the Council.
Posting and removing all those signs is the job of LADOT’s Paint and Sign Operations, which has a staff of 13 managers, workers and clerks. To meet the demand that will come with increased film and TV production, the department has asked the City Council for four more managers and laborers, at a cost of $475,000 a year, including overhead. The department also asked the City Council for a one-time investment of $160,000 to purchase advanced sign-printing equipment and to upgrade its computerized Traffic Event and Management System that oversees all those sign postings and removals.
To help support these additional costs, LADOT has asked the City Council to give it a portion of the more than $1.8 million received from film permit fees charged to producers for making, posting and removing all those signs each year – money that goes not to the DOT but into the City’s general fund.