Officials are now shopping for a new location.
NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- In Napa Valley, change is coming as leaders talk about moving their legendary welcome sign to a safer location for visitors to take photos at.
It's famous. It's historic. And it's got a jaw-droppingly beautiful backdrop. Five-million people stop to take a photo in front of the Welcome to Napa Valley sign along Highway 29 between Yountville and Oakville every year.
Why even move this iconic sign? It's a safety issue. It seems visitors park on the other side of busy Highway 29 and try to cross it. Plus, some people cross the railroad tracks to get into the vineyard.
CHP and the Napa Valley Sheriff's Department have expressed concerns about congestion in the area. So, officials are shopping for a new location.
"We'll be working closely with the Napa Valley vintners, the county, the city of Yountville and everyone in the surrounding area to decide what's best for the sign and best for the community," said Shawn Casey-White with the Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition.
The current location was donated by the Mondavi family in the 1970s. Recently, officials zeroed in on land 1 mile south. But that fell through, so now they're negotiating with a still unknown land owner.
"We'll have a series of five meetings the last week of January and the first week of February and then we'll reconvene those community meetings in March," said Casey-White.
The Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition is facilitating the talks as they expand bike and pedestrian access along the Vine Trail that will eventually run from Vallejo to Calistoga right past the welcome sign.
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