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Monday, December 22, 2014

Echo Park residents cry “foul” over Dodger traffic management plans

Echo Park Dodger Stadium Scott Avenue gate

The Dodgers plan to reopen the Scott Avenue gate during all games this season.

The Dodgers in the 1990s closed the Scott Gate on the western side of the ballpark to help reduce game-day traffic through a mostly residential section of Echo Park.  While the gate has been re-opened in recent years for especially popular games, the closure of the gate has helped build goodwill with residents as well as cut down on vehicle traffic. But that’s all going to change this coming baseball season.  The Dodgers, at a community meeting last week, officially announced that the entrance on Scott Avenue will be open for all games to help deal with what is expected to be record-high attendance.   “It’s extremely irresponsible of the Dodgers to open the the Scott Gate,” said one man during the monthly gathering of the Echo Park Improvement Assn.

The Dodgers say the reopening of the gate will act as a “safety valve” to help relieve traffic back ups at the ballpark’s other entrances, especially the Elysian Park Avenue Gate off of Sunset Boulevard.  The reopening of the gate is part of several other measures the Dodgers are trying to help get the crush of fans and their vehicles into and out of the stadium as quickly as possible. That will be especially challenging this year as the team is preparing for record turn out that would top last year when attendance topped 3.7 million, according to ESPN.  In an email,  Dodger spokeswoman Renata Simril explained the rationale behind the reopening of the gate:

We believe the best way for us to minimize the impact to our neighbors is to get our fans into and out of the stadium as quickly as possible. The Stadium Way Gate B (formerly Scott Gate) is being opened from Stadium Way into the Stadium parking only as a ‘relief valve’ from Elysian Park Avenue. We are proposing to create two left turn lanes from Elysian Park Avenue which will then be directed to take a right turn onto Scott Avenue. This is critical to alleviating traffic along Sunset Boulevard which we all know backs up terrible. We are not changing any neighborhood protection along Scott Avenue from Stadium Way to Glendale Blvd. and in fact looking to add additional DOT officers to turn around cars who try to use this as an entry point.

However, residents fear the reopening of the gate would only encourage fans to drive directly down Scott Avenue and through about a mile of  a primarily residential area between the stadium and Glendale Boulevard.  When residents asked a Dodger official at last week’s meeting how fans would be prevented from driving down Scott Avenue to get to the stadium, they did not get an answer. “We are going to be trapped,” said one man of the anticipated traffic congestion.

In addition to opening the gate, the Dodgers will also be changing their stadium parking rates this season, raising the basic price from $10 a vehicle to $15. However, those who purchase parking in advance will still be only charged $10. The Dodgers are counting on lower-priced, advanced-purchase parking to help cut down on congestion since those fans won’t have to spend time paying for parking at stadium entrances.

The Dodgers and LAPD have pledged to help deal with the large number of fans and traffic expected to converge on Chavez Ravine for the season opener on April 4, with police preparing to field 214 officers, according to Senior Lead Officer Gina Chovan.  But some residents who live on or near Scott Avenue are worried about what’s going to happen during the remainder of the season.

“The cars are faster during regular games,” a Scott Avenue resident said during the meeting. “They are in a race to get” into the stadium.


View Scott Avenue Gate in a larger map

 



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38 comments

  1. Hopefully with the higher parking price, and with the experience of the new bus lanes on Sunset/Cesar Chavez, more people will choose to take transit or bike to the game. The location really is quite inconvenient for either of those options though.

    • Bike? Do you have any idea where these fans come from? This isn’t a neighborhood pickup game. Quite unrealistic thinking.

    • I want to disparage the Dodgers for this. But frankly, AS LONG AS THEY BLOCK ACCESS TO THE SCOTT ENTRANCE FOR SCOTT AVENUE, then this really is a plus for the neighborhood, and it would help reduce the backup of cars down Elysian Park Avenue to Sunset and back down Sunset. Too bad they did not say whether access from straight down Scott Avenue would be blocked.

  2. Some people just need to get over it.

  3. Just learned about the new network deal. No way to watch Dodgers games without getting cable. F-that.

  4. How can we get permit parking for streets near the stadium? It’s impossible for us to find parking when the Dodger fans park up and down our streets to save a few bucks.

  5. People who live (because they just started renting) or those that purchased, did so knowing full well that that they were choosing somewhere near a stadium that hosts a “popular” MLB team, and that during the baseball season that is part of living where they live.

    • Yes, and as you see above, the gate hasn’t been permanently open in 20 years. How irresponsible of people to expect better from their community than to unleash thousands of people on a RESIDENTIAL STREET.

    • I live just off Scott. As another commenter mentioned, the gate hasn’t been used in decades. When I moved in, I was assured by neighbors and my landlord that Dodger traffic would not spill over into our section of the neighborhood simply because the gate was no longer in use. I am not ignorant of our proximity to the stadium — but do acknowledge that, for many years, the Dodgers haven’t been a significant problem for the neighborhoods west of the stadium.

      Our streets in this neighborhood are very narrow and already see a lot of local traffic. Near my house especially, there is a section that attracts speeders and has two blind spots with no stop signs. I can only predict Dodger traffic will cause accidents and problems for locals while the Dodger organization reaps the benefits. They have no plans or ideas to keep Dodgers traffic out of this part of the neighborhood — why shouldn’t we be concerned??

  6. Hallelujah. I live and work in the area. I am also a Dodger season ticket holder. This should help move ‘em out and move ‘em in. Hallelujah.

  7. I have a question —

    In the past five years or so, the Scott Avenue gate has been open ONLY FOR FANS EXITING THE STADIUM AT THE END OF THE GAME, and only for games where attendance was over a certain number of people (40,000, I think.) I live smack on Scott, three blocks from Stadium Way, and it has been my experience that this solution has been perfectly fine. The Scott Gate would open about half an hour before the end of the game, people would exit the stadium along Scott, and the whole thing usually took about an hour after the end of the game.

    Is the plan to now open the Scott Gate for ENTRY to the games? If so, that is a somewhat different ball of wax, and will require that residents be given some detailed information by the Dodger organization.

    I was someone who dreaded the opening of the Scott Gate when it was announced, and was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and relatively quietly the exiting would happen, even on weekdays. Side streets have been closed to all but residents, and people exiting the stadium usually do not take those side streets because it does them no good–they would either end up on Sunset, or end up on streets where they could not get out to Sunset or Glendale or any way that could get them on to the freeway or out of the neighborhood and on their way home. DOT officers and other staff have been present on most corners of Scott from Stadium Way to Echo Park Blvd, guiding drivers and answering questions. They were very friendly and the whole thing was almost like a pleasant neighborhood ritual–you could get news of the game even if you had paid no attention to it. And I must stress–the whole exiting always went very quickly and smoothly.

    So does anyone know — will the gate be open for entry as well as exiting Dodger Games? That to me would be the real change. Having the Scott Gate open for exiting Dodger fans has been perfectly fine the last few years.

    I agree with the commenter who said–when you moved to the neighborhood, you knew what you were getting into. During baseball season, Echo Park gets crowded with fans. Period. Some of it is good–some local businesses benefit greatly, there is a sense of Dodger neighborhood pride. Some of it is not so great — noise, traffic. But we have other disruptions throughout the year because we are centrally located: various races, parades, film shoots, music festivals. Echo Park is a beautiful and festive place to live. Brentwood or Sherman Oaks it is not. It is more hectic and sometimes noisier and with more dangerous traffic than places like that. I think the trade off is that people deal with each other more and yes, might have to compromise more. But we can probably do it.

  8. During Dodger season, I already have to deal with picking up empty beer bottles, broken glass, chip bags, and used condoms REGULARLY out of my front yard (most of this is tossed from cars sitting in traffic on days that the Scott gate is open and the rest is from people tailgating in Elysian Park before the game). On nights that the Scott gate is open, there are headlights in my bedroom for hours on end as my family tries to get to sleep. What do the Dodgers plan on doing to alleviate the congestion, pollution, traffic, and worst of all TRASH TRASH TRASH that gets dumped on a RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY on game days? This is appalling.

    • Same thing along Academy. Parking prices went up with the carpetbagger, people started parking on the residential streets around the stadium. Empty and broken beer bottles, broken glass, discarded fast food containers, used condoms and human urine up and down Academy from Morton Ave through to the park.

      Fans also park along Academy, leaving local land-locked residents up shit creek without a paddle…no place to park, literally no place to park. It would be fantastic if the Dodgers would pay for resident only parking along Academy – only for days when there are home games. That would be a dream come true and would also cut down on all the crap the fans leave behind.

      I was unable to attend the meeting last week due to work, but we bring this up every single year and nothing ever happens.

      • “Neighborhood protection?”

        What a joke! They do nothing. They put up a sign that says “Local residents only” and then have no one there to enforce that. We struggle to find parking on our own streets during games and have people tailgating, shouting, urinating, littering, fighting on our blocks. The Dodgers are terrible neighbors.

  9. Great, more idiotic sports fans clogging our neighborhood streets!

  10. Oh no. Please, no.

    I’ve experienced dodger traffic, all to be expected, navigating home from (my 7 mile commute) from work which turns 20 minutes into 2 hours. No complaints (actually, many, yet internal and voiced only to roommates and dick drivers) however, the release of stadium traffic from Scott has kept me out of my DRIVEWAY for almost 35 minutes-from Scott to mid Portia St. That’s not even .25 miles. My “back routes”, if this is functioning as an opening for entry, will not function as such. The trash, broken bottles, condoms, noise and assholes lying down in my drive way is something I’ve come to terms with. Probably wont benefit the number of cars, matresses and trash lit on fire on any goven night over here… But really, I can’t have my 2 hour dodgers day parade commute going to 4. Daylight savings? C’mon y’all. Can I get an Amen?

  11. Before everyone starts saying let the fans ride bikes & walk to the games – why don’t you try leaving a Dodger game at night on foot. There are no signs pointing to gates (I guess you’re just suppose to know where you are), no safe sidewalks, seriously inadequate lighting, and choking exhaust if you just follow the cars to the main gate. I had to take a shower when I got home to was the diesel exhaust off. Good times.

    • I agree, there should be more options for accessing the stadium without a car, though I would worry that rather than encouraging car-free stadium access, fans driving to the stadium might be more inclined to park on residential EP streets (to avoid the increased parking costs at the stadium) and walk from residential streets to the stadium. That problem, however, could be avoided if the city agreed to permit parking for the residential areas surrounding the park entrance.

      I also find it insulting that rather than doing ANYTHING at all to encourage less cars in order to relieve traffic on game days (perhaps a large presence of shuttle buses to and from games, as the Hollywood Bowl does), the Dodgers have decided to save money by just redirecting the nuisance and traffic danger to their surrounding community- a community that has enthusiastically rooted for and supported them. I used to live next to Fenway Park and the way it was setup within the city allowed local residents to take pride in games (I am not a Sox fan, yet grew to love the presence of the stadium in the community). The Dodgers, however, my adopted team, are quickly losing my support. I don’t wish their demise, but I will say that I am now forced to choose between rooting for a team I was once excited and proud to support or secretly hoping this season is incredibly uneventful and shortlived- merely so that I may return home from work and actually access my house, sleep in peace, and awake to something other than a pile of semen filled condoms, slim jim wrappers and broken beer bottles.

  12. Still no one has answered my question:

    will the Scott Gate now be open for entrance to Dodger games AS WELL as exits?

    • Yes. That’s what the spokesperson is saying when she describes the routing of traffic from Sunset into the Stadium.

  13. This stadium needs better bicycle and pedestrian access. I have taken the dodger shuttle and it works fine but I once made the mistake of walking to a game from Chinatown with my friends– I did not realize (i never paid much attention to it before) that not only would there would be no sidewalks/walking paths but the area is sooo poorly lit!

    Bike parking was not clear to me the time i tried biking there once.

    Not a huge baseball fan but like to go to games every now and then and much prefer to get there by not driving. If it were nice and comfortable biking and walking, I would definitely do that more often. The shuttle is cool but can get crowded after the game.

    So, in conclusion:
    Better lighting around the stadium on stadium way
    pedestrian oriented lighting around the stadium, especially along the downtown gate
    A wide bicycle and/or pedestrian path along the downtown gate
    bicycle infrastructure on stadium way
    convenient and plentiful bike parking

    If you make driving the only convenient way to get there, don’t be surprised by the massive traffic jams!

  14. “This is critical to alleviating traffic along Sunset Boulevard which we all know backs up terrible.”

    This is from someone in *communications*, who we all know should speak terrific.

  15. Yes, entry and exit at Scott Ave gate is what is planned. Exit hasn’t been that bad, accept listening to someone else’s thumping music as they crawl by my house, garbage people through, running out of their cars to urinate on my sidewalk because they drank to much at the game. It ain’t the Hollywood Bowl crowd.

    What was suggested is blockage Scott Ave at Stadium Way so the Dodger plan of using Elysian Park Drive to Stadium Way right turn to Scott gate would work but no shortcuts through the neighborhood.

    Also DOT said they could rush preferential game day parking for residents, waiting to hear from my councilman about that and opening day is 4/4 so all options HURRY!!!!!!

    • Really hopeful that the councilman is able to take all necessary steps to support this section of the community that so fervently supported him. A certain amount of nuisance (noise, litter, etc) is to be expected living near a stadium. And yet the Dodgers will need to realize that a certain amount of nuisance is to be expected for dumping THOUSANDS of drunk, loud, trash flinging cars on a small residential community. If the idea for the city to block Scott Ave from Dodger traffic fails, perhaps residents should get creative. Perhaps our cars will just happen to break down in the middle of the road on game days. Perhaps we’ll book street parades up and down EP Ave for every home game.

      The Dodgers have failed to address a problem of their own making with creative solutions to alleviate parking and traffic delays on game days and have instead decided to pass the buck and expense to local residents, who have been incredibly cooperative with the already sky high levels of noise, traffic and trash caused on game days. If they plan to pass on a MAJOR inconvenience to residents, the Dodgers, who made this announcement 3 wks before opening day after the gate being largely closed for 2 decades, should plan on residents returning the favor and making things extremely inconvenient for them in return.

  16. City of LA: Please build a fuc&ing subway to the stadium already! The congestion and the way people treat Elysian Park like a freeway and garbage can 82+days/games out of the year is disgusting and disrespectful to residents in the area. LA, let’s join the 21st century (or maybe the 20th) and stop kowtowing to the car culture.

    • It’s probably more likely that the Dodgers will eventually just move downtown, where the urban street grid can handle the crowds, and people have several transit options to get there.

      • That would be cool.. because the problem is that planners are hoping that as we cram more people into LA.. more people will use transit.. but many of the destinations in LA are not easily accessible by transit.

  17. It is INSANE that we don’t have permitted parking in our neighborhood surrounding the stadium. The Dodgers do NOTHING to make sure their fans don’t park on our streets. Can you imagine if Dodger Stadium were west of say, Highland in one of the richer neighborhoods? You bet your butt they’d have permitted parking,

    • The Dodgers can’t do anything to make sure their fans don’t park on our streets. It’s up to whatever agency handles parking and determines when permitted parking is necessary. It’s up to us to pressure them to make it happen. It would be a new income stream for the city since they would be ticketing the people without permits as well as selling us extra ones.
      While they’re at it, a parking area for people living in vehicles would be helpful. Having campers parked almost permanently in needed parking spots is causing a problems in some neighborhoods.

      • Maybe it’s time for a little civil disobedience. Those of us who have to put up with this could block the Scott entrance ourselves. Notify the press and our Councilman in advance. See if that gets us a little better response from the Dodger organization.
        I’ve lived in this area before the Scott gate was closed 20 years ago, it was not a pleasant experience on game days.

        • Agreed. It seems very few people in the neighborhood even knew about these changes or about the community meeting tonight. The Dodgers have attempted to do this as quietly (sneakily) as possible so as to avoid protest from the community. Clearly they have known about reopening the gates for months, and yet have sprung this on our little neighborhood just weeks before opening day.

          At very least a change.org petition directed to Magic Johnson is in order (the previous owners respected the neighborhood for decades) until something is done. For a man who takes such pride in helping urban communities, he and the Dodgers management clearly have no qualms about their negative impact on ours.

  18. MEETING AT DODGER STADIUM TONIGHT

    PLEASE BE AWARE OF A MEETING TONIGHT AT DODGER STADIUM TO DISCUSS THE GATE OPENING. IT IS INTEGRAL THAT CONCERNED RESIDENTS COME AND SPEAK UP AGAINST THE PROPOSED CHANGES:
    The Dodgers are having an open community meeting Tuesday night.
    Details:
    March 11th 6-8pm
    Stadium Club (1st base side of the stadium)
    Drive in via the main gate off of Sunset
    Park in lot L

  19. Dodger Hater Here .. Why Do L. A Teams Become Ghetto Teams , Beacuse Of The Fake Fans .. The Only Teams That Are Not Ghetto Is The L. A Angels @ Ducks””

  20. @Ofwood. What else can we do to put pressure on the DOT to create preferential parking zones for the streets surrounding the stadium? Who else can we contact – our city councilmen? I would help if I knew what to do, please advise here. thanks!

    • Apparently it takes 2 years to get preferential parking zones approved, which is why it is even more infuriating and disrespectful that the Dodgers have sprung this announcement on us just weeks before opening day. The city councilman’s office stated that they are looking into what their options are for speeding up that 2 year process for residents affected by the gate’s reopening. My suggestion would be to voice your support for expediting preferential parking both to the councilman’s office as well as to those managing this issue on the Dodgers end at tonight’s meeting at Dodger Stadium (the city would try to get the Dodgers to pay for the cost of preferential parking rather than have the city take on the cost).

  21. PETITION TO BLOCKADE SCOTT AVE- SIGN HERE!

    As evidenced by this evening’s meeting, the Dodgers have no plans to adjust the re-opening of the Scott Ave Gate to prevent the nightmarish scenario of thousands of cars being redirected into our residential community for all 81 home games. But just because they are redirecting fans’ cars through our neighborhood, doesn’t mean we have to sit by and let those cars pass through.

    If you are an Echo Park resident negatively impacted by the gate’s re-opening, please sign here to request Mayor Garcetti and City Councilmember O’Farrell’s support in creating a street blockade on Scott Ave near Elysian Park to prevent fans’ access to our residential roads.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/mitch-o-farrell-protect-our-residential-community-from-becoming-a-dodgers-parking-lot-by-creating-a-street-blockade-on-scott-ave-to-prevent-fans-access-to-local-roads?utm_campaign=petition_created&utm_medium=email&utm_source=guides

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