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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