The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to limit which streets tour bus companies can use, after a flood of complaints from residents in hillside neighborhoods near the Hollywood sign and the Hollywood Reservoir.
The measure, which was approved without discussion, gives the city’s Department of Transportation the authority to crack down on the routes tour bus companies use as they shuttle tourists to and from Hollywood hotspots.
For years, residents in the Hollywood Hills have complained about gridlock, tour buses blocking driveways and other traffic-related problems, prompting city council members to finally take action.
Councilman David Ryu, whose district includes the Hollywood Hills, introduced the measure. Ryu said an LADOT study found 200 tour buses traveling along some narrow hillside streets in one six-hour period during the “off-season.”
“Tourism has an important role in our city and our local economy, but public safety must come first,” Ryu stated when he filed the motion. “For far too long, certain tour bus operators have been putting the public and their passengers at risk by making unsafe turns, illegal U-turns, speeding, slowing or suddenly stopping while traveling on narrow hillside streets that were never built to accommodate them.”
Under the new law, the city will study road width, crash patterns, visibility and other factors to determine whether a street is safe or not for tour buses to use. Streets determined unsafe will feature new signs banning the buses, Ryu said in a press release.
The newly approved restrictions will allow the city to fine tour bus operators $100 for a first offense, $200 for the second and $250 for the third. If a company is found violating the law a fourth time within a year, a misdemeanor charge could be filed. Meanwhile, penalties for violations such as parking a tour bus in a restricted area, could be as much as $300 for a first offense, with fees climbing for each additional offense.
Once Mayor Eric Garcetti signs the legislation, it will go into effect in April.
City News Service contributed to this report.