An official-looking sign at Sunset's southbound freeway onramp pointed the way to the Trump National Golf Club with a giant arrow.
One passerby who was not amused was Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss, who represents several nearby Westside neighborhoods and for years has crusaded against illegal signs and billboard blight.
Weiss called Caltrans officials demanding to know whether they had authorized a sign advertising something 30 miles away — and in the city of Rancho Palos Verdes to boot.
Puzzled transportation planners quickly explained that the sign wasn't placed at the onramp by them and promised that Caltrans workers would be sent today to remove it from the ramp, used by 4,100 motorists daily.
"Advertising businesses is totally not our policy. That would not be our sign," said Caltrans spokeswoman Judy Gish. "I can't begin to imagine who put it up. It wasn't us."
Weiss said he hoped that that is the case.
"If it is a real Caltrans sign, you have to be outraged. Assuming that it's not, I have to say I'm impressed at how authentic-looking it is. But my feelings on this will sour if Caltrans doesn't take it down right away. Intended or not, this is tremendous free advertising for the one man in the United States who least needs it."
Managers at Trump's golf club in Rancho Palos Verdes did not respond to inquiries about the sign. A Trump spokeswoman in Pebble Beach said she knew nothing about it.
But others were wondering if the sign might be the handiwork of a shadowy group of prankster artists, architects and builders who call themselves Heavy Traffic. Six years ago the guerrilla artists created a flurry of excitement by posting fake but authentic-looking MTA signs around the Westside announcing the "future route of the Metro Aqua Line."
A country which gets golf-minded need not worry about the honor, the integrity and the honesty of its people. DONALD ROSS