By CECILIA PADILLA-BRILL
ECHO PARK — Next Monday’s Opening Day at Dodger Stadium is going to be a game changer for many Dodger fans and local residents alike. What’s the change? Parking restrictions that are designed to deter Dodger fans from tailgating and disturbing residents. But those same efforts will also force some Echo Park residents to move their cars or get a ticket.
“There’s going to be zero tolerance for tailgating on Opening Day,” announced Council District 1 Field Deputy Melinda Alatorre at last week’s Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council meeting. “I don’t know how to express it enough. LAPD is bringing all of the resources that they possibly have to try to maintain the tailgating activity in the park as well as in the neighborhood.”
In preparation for the season opener on Monday, April 6, Alatorre said that the city is trying to minimize the disturbances caused by tailgating in Elysian Park and the surrounding neighborhoods by posting no parking signs along the Avenue of the Palms, a stretch of Stadium Way that has traditionally served as the center of tailgate parties and picnics that begin in the morning hours before the game begins. The details of the parking restrictions are scheduled to be released later this week.
“Avenue of the Palms is just uncontrollable,” Alatorre said regarding last year’s tailgating activities. “We had incidences with Banda [a style of Mexican dance music] down Scott Avenue, and folks weren’t too happy about that,” she said. “We had a lot of folks partying on the street, disturbing the neighbors, parking in the neighborhood, drinking in front of people’s homes, urinating in front of their homes… we’re trying to curb it as much as possible and prevent it from happening altogether.”
But to prevent the the fans from simply moving their cars from Stadium Way and Elysian Park to nearby residential streets, a two-hour parking limit will also be enforced on several nearby streets:
- Scott Avenue between Echo Park Avenue and Elysian Park
- Morton Avenue between Echo Park Avenue and Academy Road
- Academy Road between Morton Avenue and Elysian Park
- Portia Street between Sunset Boulevard and Scott Avenue
The goal of the two-hour parking is to prevent tailgating in those neighborhoods. However, local residents who park their cars on the street will need to move their cars every two hours to avoid being ticketed.
“We are trying to minimize the inconvenience” caused by tailgaters, said Tony Arranga, communications director for Council District 13 said during a telephone interview. He said that Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s office heard the local community’s complaints about opening day disturbances “loud and clear.”
Further details about the parking restrictions are still being determined. However, Sargent Vincent Aguirre of the Los Angeles Police Department, said that the parking restrictions on Avenue of the Palms will only be enforced on Opening Day.
“It is really going to be a game changer for the area,” he said.
Cecilia Padilla Brill is a communications writer and journalist. She writes news, health, education and feature stories. Cecilia is currently working on her first novel. She has lived in Echo Park since 1999