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Will targeting Waze users ease Dodger Stadium traffic congestion?

Dodger Home Opener gridlock

The residents of Echo Park and Solano Canyon who live near Dodger Stadium have long complained about game-day traffic. The city has a standing “traffic plan” to handle the congestion in an effort to shield residents and keep traffic moving. But, with Waze and other traffic apps sending fans into narrow side streets, residents say current efforts fall short. Now, the City Council will consider a proposal to update the traffic plan to take those apps, new traffic counts and road closures into account.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on a motion by Councilman Gil Cedillo to deal with increasing complaints of Dodger traffic, especially during sold-out games, division championships and other special events.  If approved, the Department of Transportation would be instructed to:

“Develop an updated traffic plan for Dodger Stadium that: reflects the increasing use of technology applications, such as Waze and Google; updated traffic volume counts at each Stadium entry point; and the implementation of road closures, with appropriate personnel, two-hours prior to each home game, at the following locations [streets are listed in the motion] to provide access to residents only.”

It’s not clear, however, how the city will deal with Waze and traffic app users, which have been blamed for increasing congestion on residential streets far from main roads and freeways.

What is certain is that many residents near Dodger Stadium want relief from traffic. That includes those living in Solano Canyon, which is wedged between the eastern side of the stadium and the 110 Freeway. Here are some comments from Solano Canyon residents excerpted from emails sent to the City Council in support Cedillo’s motion:

“The traffic flow to, and from, Dodger Stadium must be directed to remain on the freeway or onto streets that are designated for such traffic and away from residential streets. This problem has been exacerbated by online traffic applications such as Waze and Google Maps. The drivers, heading back from the Dodgers game, often are intoxicated, driving unsafely around the neighborhood. As residents, we have witnessed too many cars jammed in the narrow street (Casanova st, to be exact), sometimes quarreling for hours over who should yield or not.”

“Traffic to and from Dodger Stadium must be directed to remain on the freeway or onto streets that are designated for high-capacity traffic and away from residential streets. The current situation results in residents being locked in or away from their homes, air and noise pollution, littering of beer bottles, and public urination.”

“As a life long member of the community of Solano Canyon, I can confirm our quality of life was affected greatly once the online applications directed traffic through our community of Solano Canyon, and although signs direct traffic elsewhere, the cars will drive past the signs, past the DOT personnel and into our community and our very narrow streets. Our community becomes congested with bumper to bumper traffic for 2-3 hours on game days. Now, with the addition of the concerts and the special events, our lives are affected beyond game season. Sometimes, to travel a block can take 15-20 minutes.”

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30 comments

  1. It’s funny that waze is just a scorecard for the competency of city planners. It’s therefore no surprise that rather than bring in help to solve the underlying problems, the politicians will just be making traffic worse.

  2. Most of the old folk on the city council probably don’t even know what an “app” is… lol.

  3. There are two specific conditions that will alleviate at least %30-%40 of traffic delays around game days at Dodger stadium.
    1. Scrap the idea of the “Dodger express bus dedicated lane” on Sunset Blvd.
    This single “road diet” alone is the single biggest cause for traffic delays on game day.

    2. Pre sell Stadium parking in either passes or an APP that you flash at the gate. Collecting money is crazy.

    3. Return the old system of a “round about” inside of the stadium instead of directing cars into spaces. The round about allows the traffic to be absorbed into the stadium grounds.

    4. Restrict parking along Sunset Blvd/Cesar Chavez/ Vin Scully on game days 1 hour past start time.

    It’s pretty simple if you know what you’re doing but that’s the problem with LADOT, they are very arrogant and pretentious.

    LADOT is promoting a racist agenda of outdated European transportation ideas which promote class war and reward the elite.
    Restricting movement is not “freedom”.
    The condescending replies from the “leadership” at LADOT is the worst part of all.

    • I Love You !!!!

    • oh yeah? Prove it.

      • Prove what? that LADOT “cherry picks” data on vehicles deaths?
        The LA County mortality report from 2000-2010 list the leading cause of death for children under age 5-14 as “Leukemia” and second was “Motor vehicle crash”.
        LADOT took one year of data 2015 and cherry picked a stat to fit their agenda of a Euro centric transportation system.
        The leading cause of death of people age 15-24 in LA County is homicide, not “motor vehicle violence”.

        If a car crash in Los Angeles is “motor vehicle violence”, then LADOT General Manager Saleta Reynolds is an “accessory to murder”.
        Her short sighted and convoluted thinking has crippled transportation in the metro area.
        Motor vehicle deaths were up both %35 and 45% in the past two years since these “road diets” have been started.

        The stats are corrupted. LADOT counts every bicycle death as “3” and a vehicle death as “1”. So when you see a LADOT “Danger rating” of an intersection, the math is “funny”. Instantly divide all bike deaths by 3. Then you have a true number, not a fake number made up to fit an agenda.
        “Vision Zero” is a joke. It’s an idea that calls for no plan, no execution and no defined projects. The money to maintain a “C” rated road system in the City of Los Angeles has been estimated to run about $3 billion in the next ten years. Vision Zero is asking $60-80 million for an “idea” that can’t be maintained. Vision Zero is a slick little marketing campaign meant to win some type of “engineering safety” award.
        $1 million on LADOT & Metro bus ads for Vision Zero. So LADOT paid to promote “Vision zero” on their own busses?

        The general manager of LADOT has openly said “it’s just paint”. $60 million on paint?

        The real plan is to choke the Metro area of LA until everyone is forced onto public transportation and freedom of movement is regulated. The only people who can afford to live in the City of LA are wealthy now. Apartments start at $1700 a month with no parking stall.
        Imagine my surprise when Cedillo was the only member on the Council to oppose this crazy notion that an APP was the problem,,,PFFTTTTTTT!!!
        It’s pretentious little twits making $280K a year at LADOT and they have no clue what they are doing!
        LADOT cant even get the “Street surveys” done so the LAPD can start enforcing speed limits.

        Fire Saleta Reynolds TODAY!

        • “Motor vehicle deaths were up both %35 and 45% in the past two years since these “road diets” have been started.” Correlation is not causation. What about the studies (not conducted by LADOT) finding that crash rates on those specific roads has decreased?

          LADOT counts every bicycle death as “3” and a vehicle death as “1”. This is false. Crash types are weighted when generating heatmaps, but they do not multiply by 3 when presenting actual numbers (I’ve seen this weighting system, and car-car injury crashes were not weighted differently than car-bike injury crashes – but I don’t work for LADOT, so I might not have seen everything). Plus vision zero aims to decrease all types of injury crashes, not just ped/bike ones.

          “It’s an idea that calls for no plan, no execution and no defined projects.” You’re not paying attention. There are many plans in the works, and community meetings for those plans. The plans appear to be flailing, though!

          “So LADOT paid to promote “Vision zero” on their own busses?” Metro is an LA County entity. LADOT paying for ads on Metro does not equal “LADOT paying itself.”

          Anyway, your Dodger Stadium ideas seem pretty solid. But your other ideas are wacky.

          • Here is a direct quote from “vision zero” on how they manipulate the data,
            “We also give more weight to counts of Killed or Serious Injuries (commonly referred to in the transportation safety field as “KSI”) among people walking or biking, so deaths or serious injuries at all intersections are multiplied by three, while vehicle-vehicle deaths or serious injuries do not receive a multiplying factor. For example, if an intersection contains one fatal pedestrian collision, two severe bicycle injuries, and one fatal vehicle-vehicle, the score would be 10 (3 for the pedestrian, 6 for the two bicycles, and 1 for the vehicle-vehicle).”
            All of the data LADOT uses is skewed and weighted for their racist agenda of cleansing the city of the undesirables.
            LADOT is manipulating data to support an obviously flawed agenda.
            Additional little fact here, LADOT operates a fleet of buses outside of and independent of Metro. So when they buy ad space on LADOT buses, they are paying themselves. Mic drop.

          • That entire quote is for generating heatmaps to display crash hot spots, not for presenting raw numbers of crashes. The weighting system makes sense. You are out of your league.

            Yes, that’s true – LADOT owns DASH and Commuter Express. However, you’re still not making an intriguing point. The city spends money on education and outreach, not only infrastructure.

          • DASH is operated by a contractor hired and overseen by LADOT

        • I really really love you!

    • Heaven forbid our urban streets and neighborhoods resemble a charming European city with far fewer traffic fatalities.

      • Which “charming European ” city would that be? London? Paris? Because there are only a few European cities with the population of Metro Los Angeles and none of them are, even close to Los Angeles in area.
        So the concept of squeezing 10 pounds of sausage into a five pound bag.

        Traffic is like water. You don’t restrict water, you let water flow. Water will take the form of anything it is contained in and so will traffic. If you restrict the path of water, it causes turbulence and slows the flow, it’s the same with traffic. You have to create minimal disturbance and allow for the most direct path to flow freely.

        • I thought I was the only one here with a brain and was Pro-Car. I drive the silverlake area every day and have for 20 years. I see the problems, I see how they could so easily be fixed, and the LADOT does there best to screw things up for us the tax paying drivers. Who ever you are you should run for city council.

          • LA is a car-based city and you can’t change that by a few “traffic-pattern tweaks.” Millions of people have to live and work here and both bicycle and mass transit are currently both impractical — and in the case of bicycles, deadly dangerous.

            I pay taxes and live in Silver Lake and am as liberal as they come, but I am pro-car because in Los Angeles that is the reality.

            I vote decidedly pro-car.

  4. The city, along with councilmembers Cedillo and O’Farrell, have failed the neighborhood on Dodgers traffic. I live on Scott and it gets worse each year, with the pre-game traffic in particular getting really bad. The signs directing traffic to use Sunset and “local access only” are a joke. Whatever this traffic plan is, it needs to address this.

    I love the team, but Dodgers inc. brings in 400 million dollars per year, and yet they shirk the costs to the community incurred by their success–while the city leaders turn a blind eye. Shameful.

    • I think Cedillo “gets it” on this “Road Diet” insanity. He has consistently said it was a bad idea. What he needs to really address is the wish for Los Angeles to become a “European model” of a metropolis by LADOT.
      LADOT general manager Saleta Reynolds is a “Traffic serial killer”, the same as a traffic accident is now considered “vehicle violence” in Los Angeles, she is directly responsible for “vehicle murder”.
      When will these sociopaths be shown the door?

  5. I’m often caught in the Dodger traffic. There is always one element that is present at ALL the Dodger traffic back-ups. That element is the individuals who stand in the middle of the street and direct traffic. These individuals cause the long delays. Have you ever come across a traffic signal light that is not working? What have you done? You resort to the basic rule of “Right-of Way”. One car goes, then the car in the perpendicular lane goes, back and forth, back and forth. No problems, everyone takes their turn. Then you might have the occasion to drive back and the traffic signal is still not working. However, by this time, out in the middle of the street is one or more of those individuals directing traffic and this time the traffic is backed up for blocks.

    What’s going on here?
    I’m really trying to be nice here, but, don’t you ever just want to honk your horn and YELL, “Get the F–K out of the street!!!”

    Let’s talk about a solution. The individuals who direct traffic are oblivious of the larger traffic patterns heading into an event like a Dodger game. Their presence in the intersect causes the traffic to back up which affects other large directed intersections and the failure to expediently move traffic cascades down to the long line of cars. Having apps like Waze is really neat. It can tell you where you are and how hopeless your situation is. The solution is in how the traffic is allowed to flow. If having those individuals is absolutely necessary, then instead of having them direct their own little intersection kingdom, have them be part of a larger symphony with one director who sees all the road leading into an event.

    How? By giving the individuals in the intersection information that will be based on the larger scheme of the traffic pattern. It can be as simple as an earphone that sends an audible sound. A series of tones would indicate all traffic moving in from the west goes; then north, then east and so on with all the left, forward and right ways moving.
    Sure there might be better ways to have the entire traffic event work better. But, the solution should be the same, Event Traffic Orchestration, ETO a single source symphony conduction.

    • The Officers directing traffic are at the intersection to prevent gridlock. If drivers were more observant and a bit more patient before they charged into an intersection, it would move much smoother. The Officers are NOT the problem. The problem is LADOT took away an entire lane of traffic on Sunset Blvd to accommodate a “Dodger express bus”. This bus serves maybe 1000 but it takes away movement for 12K others, very small thinking.

    • “You resort to the basic rule of “Right-of Way”. I do but there are way too many selfish and/or dimwitted drivers out there who don’t grant right-of-way on an alternating basis like they’re supposed too. I’m confident enough to wedge myself in there and claim my spot with hand-signals and horns but if there is a timid driver in front of you, forget about it.

  6. The problem is we built a sports stadium on a hill, miles from a proper transit hub. The Dodgers should move downtown, or near USC where the infrastructure can handle large crowds more efficiently.

    • Traffic to and from USC games and events is no better (if not worse!) and Dodger Stadium is already barely a mile as the bird flies from 7th and Figueroa, i.e., downtown. People need to accept that they’re never going to be able to reconcile life in the big city with fantasies of quiet, tree-lined streets and sparse to modest traffic to big-city events. Not going to happen. Deal with it.

      • Well, as the crow walks, Dodger Stadium is 2.6 miles from 7th & Fig, and it would take the crow nearly an hour to walk there.

  7. Traffic to downtown or USC is only bad if you drive… People have other options. Whereas getting to Chavez Ravine via mass transit is a total PITA.

  8. I think that the Dodger organization could also try to help with this situation, maybe they could offer a discount on the tickets for going on the Dodger Stadium bus.

    Also they could give those taking the stadium bus riders Dodger dollars spendable at the home games or online. When I go to the games I take the stadium bus and it is Quick and Awesome!

  9. There’s traffic in LA??? I guess I never noticed.

  10. Random thoughts:

    Waze is not just a Dodgers traffic issue. I live on the other side of Alvarado/Glendale, and the daily rush hour traffic (even on non-game days) on the five tiny streets in my immediate ‘hood has become a frightening mess. These streets are barely able to accommodate two cars traveling in opposite directions under mid-day conditions, and now between 4-6 pm it is impossible to exit one’s driveway, much less park in some magically available curbside spot. People who are simply driving (crawling) through do not understand this at all, and they are almost universally rude and inconsiderate. Ignoring stop signs, oncoming cars, etc. etc.

    Dodgers traffic: (Full disclosure—I am a season ticket holder, so I am an ongoing participant in that ungodly game-day mess. However, this also means I kind of know what I’m talking about.)
    I’m undecided about the dedicated shuttle lane. Yes, it removes a full lane from Sunset between Union Station and the stadium, which means less driving space for everyone else. But, have you driven that route when the shuttle is in action and there are no cones blocking that lane? Not only does that lane become completely blocked with regular traffic, which includes the slower and heavily polluting shuttle, but people park in the bus lane, and then the shuttle causes even more gridlock as it attempts to get around the illegally parked cars.

    Inside the stadium: this, imho, is the root of the problem. I don’t know who designed the original parking and pedestrian/traffic flow plan for inside-the-gates, but if it did ever work, it doesn’t now. The issue is mainly stupid people, but I guess I shouldn’t go there. Let’s just say, no one has a clue what they are doing or where they are going, and they get no help from any source. The signage absolutely sucks, too many pedestrians choose not to use the managed crosswalks, and most of the traffic control folks who are trying to manage cars and pedestrians really need an intensive training on how to do this properly. The regular traffic cops out on the streets are geniuses compared to these (hard-working but) incapable folks. It’s my understanding that Frank McCourt still owns the Dodger Stadium parking lots; if this is true, it explains everything, but nonetheless someone needs to put some serious money into figuring out how to make cars and people get in, around, and out of the stadium in a less chaotic way. Because this is why there is such a back-up on the access streets in Echo Park, and why so many people are unwilling to park inside the stadium. (And why everyone leaves after the seventh-inning stretch!)

  11. If you live near Dodger Stadium, your complaints about Dodger Stadium traffic should be completely discounted.

    You made your bed when you chose to live near Dodger Stadium, you need to lie in it — or move.

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