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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Party Shuttles? Transponders? Gondolas? Here are some ideas to speed up access to Dodger Stadium

Dodger Stadium, traffic, parking

Dodger Jam | Ajajadude/Flickr

The Dodger’s decision to reopen the Scott Avenue entrance has met with a lot of neighborhood opposition in Echo Park. But the team says it needs to open the gate to improve the flow of traffic into and out of the stadium.  The Dodgers have also implemented other measures – increasing pedestrian and bike access, improving links to public transportation and selling pre-paid parking – as part of an effort to “help clear traffic off of city streets as quickly as possible,” according to the team’s transportation access plan.  But there’s plenty  more that can be done. Here are some ideas that have been come up recently as the Dodgers and their neighbors prepare for the season opener on April 4:

Party Shuttles
The Dodgers are working with  Rally Bus, a private service that provides a “Dodger experience”  shuttle, said Dodger spokeswoman said Renata Simril. “The bus picks up at two or three city locations, which they determine, and shuttles [fans] into the stadium. We are looking to work with them on two home stands, one in May and one in June, to determine its effectiveness.”

If The Hollywood Bowl Can Do It ….
Explore shuttle options at park-and-ride locations – for instance, Los Angeles Zoo, Friendship Auditorium, Four Square Church parking lots, said Councilman Mitch O’Farrell.

Add Another Gate

“They could open another gate,” said architect Peter Lassen, whose home overlooks the ballpark. “At least one of the gates by the police academy is never opened.”  Lassen also said a gate limited only to buses as part of a separate track or lane could speed things up.

Transponders
One Echo Park resident proposed the Dodgers sell transponders – such as the one used on toll roads – that would allow autos to enter and exit the stadium without having to stop at the gate to purchase parking.

Pay To Leave
Requiring fans to pay for parking when they exit the stadium instead of when they enter would  help clear  the streets more quickly of traffic before and after games, said Councilman Mitch O’Farrell.

Chinatown Gondola
An Eastsider commenter named Samarkand elaborated on this idea:

“Several years ago, there was a proposal for an aerial tramway in Griffith Park that was, probably rightfully, shot down. But has anyone ever considered an aerial lift to Dodger Stadium?

An aerial gondola between Chinatown Metro Station and Dodger Stadium could have a capacity of up to 6,000 passengers per hour — a sizable chunk of Dodger Stadium’s capacity of 56,000. And if the Dodgers ever followed through on plans proposed during the McCourt era for a museum at the stadium, there could be demand for the gondola year-round, with tourists getting some great views of downtown as they soar over Chinatown.

I realize that there would be some considerations that could make this proposal impractical: cost, engineering feasibility, rights-of-way, and availability of space around Chinatown Metro Station (particularly with the current construction of the Blossom Plaza project in an adjacent parcel). But an aerial gondola could possibly do a lot to alleviate traffic around Dodger Stadium, and I’m wondering if it has ever been considered?

7 comments

  1. The comment about at least one entrance by the Academy being closed is incorrect. I always enter on Academy Road and know that the second entrance further down going towards the 110 is also open.

  2. For as much as folks may chuckle at the suggestion of a gondola, on a cost-per-mile basis it’s cheaper than any other option that involves creating new infrastructure. And a gondola could be built in a year’s time. Gondolas have been built in a number of hilly cities around the country for the purpose of transporting residents (and not just for recreational purposes), and they’re quite successful.

  3. Matthew Reynolds

    How to get the crowd in and out of the Stadium.

    Union Station isn’t too far away from Dodger Stadium.. Dodger Fans can disembark at Union Station and then get onto the “Dodger Line” (too bad “Blue Line” is taken). The subterranean or above ground tracks would encircle the Stadium making the return trip to Union Station even quicker.
    I foresee a future where California’s High Speed Rail would have a stop at Dodger Stadium after paralleling the Interstate 5 Freeway coming south from San Francisco. Another way Dodger Stadium could become an international transportation hub is to have Aeros style airships dock at the Stadium grounds. The area is large enough and the “Dodger Line” would go from seasonal to year round.

  4. Free and convenient bike valet. Maybe get a wristband from the bike valet that doubles as a discount when purchasing food/drink. Have bike lanes leading to the stadium and sharrows/signage directing people to the bike valet so they know where it is. This wouldn’t cause a sea change but maybe it could encourage some folks to arrive by bike and/or free up space on the Dodger Shuttle.

  5. There were some good ideas offered up at the last meeting, many of which make a lot of sense, but it was a brainstorming and venting session and none of the leadership committed to backing any solution beyond a placard.

    With the success the Dodgers had last season, the fact that they are acting as if they were caught off guard by all the interested fans selling out the stadium is absurd. Clearly the Dodgers saw this coming and chose not to address it. The concerns of neighbors are simply not a priority. Thanks to Concerned Citizens of Echo Park and the neighborhood leaders who have organized this opposition.

    There’s plenty of places to park and ride if they wanted to make it happen. Charging $6 to park at Union Station is hardly an incentive when its only $10 at the Stadium and the shuttles sit in the same traffic as the cars. Figure it out, please!

    Yay for the Gondola— why not!

  6. 18 minute from the chinatown gold line station to the stadium, via the ped bridge over the 110 at bernard and yale.

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