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A New Law Allows Cities To Crack Down On Tour Buses, And L.A. Is Already Looking To Do Just That

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If you’ve ever found yourself sitting in traffic alongside a Hollywood tour bus, then you know how annoying it is to overhear a tour guide rattling on about the Hollywood sign or the Walk of Fame over a crackling loudspeaker. A bill that was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday could make those tour buses a lot more quiet and a lot less visible.

Written by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian—whose 46th district covers the Hollywood Hills, Universal City, and Studio City—the legislation gives local governments the authority to crack down on tour buses by adopting their own set of rules and regulations.

Councilmember David Ryu, whose district includes Central Hollywood and its surrounding hills, is already taking advantage of that new law. On Friday, he introduced a pair of motions that would require all open-air tour buses in Los Angeles to transmit audio through headphones and would allow the city to ban tour buses from streets that could be potentially dangerous. It calls on the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, the L.A. Police Department and the L.A. Fire Department to identify those streets within 30 days of the motion’s passing (the motion still has to be voted on).

“Every day, dozens of these tour buses wind up narrow hillside roads that simply were not built for this kind of use,” Ryu said in a statement on Friday. “Tourism is a key ingredient to the Los Angeles economy, but rogue tour bus operators and their illegally modified vehicles pose a serious threat to public safety.”

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In a statement, Ryu commended both Nazarian and Brown for the law, which also seeks to better define tour buses by including those with “a roof substantially structurally modified or removed.” Ryu’s motion states that the legislation was the result of “numerous complaints from residential neighborhoods about the noise emanating from sightseeing tour buses, especially those that are open air.” Just how many complaints has the city received about buses using megaphones outside of residential homes? Up to 100 a day, according to the motion.

This isn’t Ryu’s first attempt to crackdown on open-air tour buses. In 2015, he and Councilmember Mike Bonin introduced a motion to require unenclosed tour buses to have permits for their audio systems. The latest pair of motions isn’t a done deal quite yet: It still needs to be scheduled for a vote at City Hall and sent to full council for approval. Until then, you’ll have to find other ways to drown out the noise from tour buses.