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Proposal for 2,900-foot-long zip line in Runyon Canyon bodes ill for the future

(Thinkstock)
(Thinkstock)

A proposal to build a 2,900-foot-long zip line through Runyon Canyon drew a steady stream of criticism at a Hollywood Hills neighborhood council meeting Wednesday night, including from the city Recreation and Parks Department.

A statement from a department executive was read at the meeting of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council at the Will & Ariel Durant Branch Library in Hollywood.

No action was taken on the proposal by Jeff Pruitt and Ryan Woods.

Following the meeting, Pruitt told Fox11 that he Woods would “revisit the situation.”

Pruitt and Woods said before the meeting they approached the city Recreation and Parks Department last year about building a zip line in Griffith Park. After discussing the idea with Recreation and Parks officials and Councilman Tom LaBonge’s office, they opted instead to propose the line in Runyon Canyon, Woods told City News Service.

The zip line would start at Runyon Canyon Road just east of the power line structure and drop gliders 500 feet into the canyon, Pruitt said, landing north of Fuller Gate — a popular site for outdoor yoga classes.

Pruitt and Woods had said they hope to win over residents’ concerns about increased traffic by running a shuttle from the Hollywood & Highland Center parking area, reducing the number of tourists using residential streets and parking along the roads.

“We want this to become the new way to get to Runyon Canyon,” Pruitt told City News Service.

The pair also said they would donate $700,000 to fix trails, add bathrooms and make other improvements at Runyon Canyon.

Joe Salaices, superintendent of Recreation and Parks operations, said before the meeting the proposal is in its “infancy stage” and city officials are still gathering information.

A formal application has not been submitted to the city, but if the city wanted to pursue the idea, there would have to be a competitive bidding process to choose an operator, and the proposal would undergo a public and “transparent” review process, Salaices said.

Salaices said the city recently experimented with a smaller zip line at Venice Beach that was “somewhat semi-successful,” but is “not at the same level” as the Runyon Canyon proposal.

Pruitt said the zip line would be one of very few in the country in an urban area, with most built in “remote mountain ranges or areas overlooking just water.”

The proposed Runyon Canyon zip line would offer “basically the best view in Los Angeles,” including downtown, the mid-Wilshire area, West Hollywood and “on a clear day you’ll be able to see the water,” Pruitt said.

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