It's as famous as the Grand Canyon, and just as recognizable as the Great Wall of China. It's common knowledge that tourists flock every year to see the iconic "HOLLYWOOD" sign in California, but what you don't know is that a bitter war has been raging around the sign for years.
A group of people are trying to hide the HOLLYWOOD sign at all costs from potential tourists. And they're not holding any punches, either.
This group of people is actually the residents that live near and around the famous sign. And they seem to have a pretty good reason for not wanting tourists.
Firstly, there's no easy way to get to the HOLLYWOOD sign. You can't drive up to it, and it's only by hiking the twisty trails on the mountain that you can get close to the sign at all.
But you can forget about the selfies with the sign, even if you do make the hike. That's because you can't access the front of the sign, you can only hike up the back end of the sign.
If it's so difficult to get to, then why do the residents of Los Angeles want to hide the sign so badly? And how in the world are they going to do it?
Residents complain that the increased traffic from tourists seeking the sign are causing a danger to the neighborhood. Local pets are in danger and have been killed by the increased traffic, and the streets become clogged with cars abandoned by tourists trying to scale the mountain to get closer to the HOLLYWOOD sign.
These disgruntled neighbors have resorted to (illegally) painting neighborhood curbs red, and (illegally) posting signs to curb the traffic. There was even a petition to hide the location of the sign from Google Maps, but to no avail.
However, Councilmember Tom LaBonge came up with a solution while working with the Hollywood Sign Trust that will hopefully curb the traffic problem and calm the neighbors while still giving tourists a good view and photo op with the infamous sign.
If you attempt to find directions to the sign using Google Maps, you'll be directed to the Griffith Observatory, one mountain east from the sign with a beautiful view. A dashed gray line will appear that points directly to the sign, but you will not be navigated there.
In fact, Google Maps, Bing, and Apple Maps all refuse to send you directions to the sign. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, do not proceed to the HOLLYWOOD sign.
And if you attempt to access the trails to hike up to the sign, you will be barred access. The trails are currently "closed for maintenance" but are supposedly scheduled to be reopened later this year.