The neighbors of Dodger Stadium frustrated over game-day traffic and a lack of parking are trying a new strategy to deal with the hordes of baseball fans: Fool them. Or, at least try. In Solano Canyon, just east of the stadium, new white and red signs reading “Resident Parking Only” have been posted along Academy Road and Solano Avenue. Echo Park residents on the other side of the stadium want them, too. The problem is the signs are fake, printed up and posted by residents themselves.* “We are seeking some relief,” said one resident.
The people of parking-challenged Solano Canyon are not the only ones trying to fake out the fans. On many game days, motorists who turn on to Lilac Terrace in Echo Park have taken a detour after encountering a plastic traffic barricade in the middle of the street and a man wearing a vest trimmed in highway-worker orange. But the guy who asks drivers if they live on the street is not a city traffic cop. He, and another man stationed at the other end of the street, are neighbors who are also fed up with game-day parking shortages and traffic, said one resident. In fact, these fake traffic cops have issued fake passes – pink and green index cards stamped with a variety of Looney Tunes characters, including the Tasmanian Devil – to many of their neighbors so they can get through the barricade without being questioned.
“So, all the neighbors have these cute index cards,” she said. “We put them on our windshields.”
The fake check points on Lilac Terrace and the D.I.Y. signs in Solano Canyon reflect growing neighborhood frustration as Dodger Stadium’s $15 parking rate has pushed many fans to look for free parking on nearby streets. Residents, however, are not the only one playing games with the fans. Many point out that the “Local Traffic Only” signs posted by the city on some streets are not enforceable. The young police Explorer scouts, often seen shivering in the evening cold, stationed near some of the signs also have no authority to stop motorists who want to drive through.
With City Hall and the Dodgers unable or unwilling to spend money on traffic and parking control measures that mean something, residents say they are on their own. “We are kind of left to do what we have to do,” said the resident from Solano Canyon.
But it seems that many Dodger fans are not being fooled by the charade. When the Solano Canyon resident pointed out the fake “Resident Only Parking” sign to a fan parking his car, the man replied: “I will take my chances.”
* Update: City workers today removed the fake “Resident Only Parking” signs, a Solano Canyon resident reported by email tonight. No word if the city-issued “Local Traffic Only” signs that don’t mean anything either are staying put.
* Trapped in a sea of Dodger Blue. The Eastsider LA