Secret Bike Parking at Dodger Stadium?

dodger.jpg
Find the Bike Parking at Chavez Ravine

Last week, during a City Council hearing on adding a bus option for travelers to Dodger’s Stadium, Councilmember Tom LaBonge interrupted a Dodger executive to ask if there is bike parking at Dodger Stadium. When the executive replied that there was, LaBonge, an avid baseball fan, commented that he would lead a bike tour later in the summer.

I left my notebook at my seat when I went up to testify on the bus plan and didn’t write down the directions to the bike facilities. This is unfortunate, because it seems that the only person who knows where these racks are is the executive who testified.

The first place I looked for the bike racks was on the Dodgers’ official website. There’s a F.A.Q. for parking at the stadium, but no mention of bikes. The parking map(above) has no directions to bike racks. Nowhere on the website is there a mention of bike racks. Interestingly, the site does say that the parking lot can fill up for certain games, but doesn’t mention an alternative way to get to the game besides driving.

Second, I searched online for any stories or mention of bike racks at Dodger Stadium, figuring that if the racks have been there in years past that someone would have used them and written about them. I found two articles bemoaning the lack of bike options at the stadium. The more recent article was by David Pulsipher for C.I.C.L.E. and was written last September.  The other article was written in 2004 by Paul Dorn of the California Bike Coalition.

Pulsipher’s article focuses on his own experience trying to find a place to park his bike at the stadium and the confused, unhelpful efforts of stadium staff help him. It’s a story cyclists in LA are all too familiar with; first you bike to where you want to go, then you have to chain your bike to some sort of sign or poll and hope that the government doesn’t take your bike. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the former Trolley Dodgers of Brooklyn don’t have adequate bicycle parking given that the team moved to LA in 1957, "in part to build a larger facility with more parking," according to Dorn.

As a last resort, I picked up the phone and asked the Dodgers if they had bike racks. So far, I haven’t heard from them. Even if the racks do exist, they don’t do anyone any good if nobody (including parking staff) knows where they are. Either way, I’ll report back if I hear from the Dodgers.

Image: LA Dodgers

  • anxious to see if they respond to you. last summer i was a part of a group ride featuring some of the movers and shakers in the LA bike scene (steve box, dan gutierrez, erik knutzen, etc) including ken maguire, the state’s bicycle guy at caltrans. a little recreation before the bicycle advisory committee meeting.

    when we got to the gate… we were snubbed by security. it didn’t matter who’s name we dropped, it was clear that as a group of bicyclists looking to take a ride around the stadium, we were not welcome.

    we later learned… that if we had inquired about buying season tickets we would’ve been let straight in – no fuss, no muss.

    so – let that be a lesson to you. if you want to ride around dodger stadium and there isn’t a game that day, just say you came to buy tickets.

  • Will Campbell

    It certainly would be nice if there was dedicated (dare I even hope: secure and monitored?) bike parking at the stadium. Maybe LaBonge’s interrupting question will get the exce to clap his hands and get ball rolling, but I won’t be surprised if bike racks are installed the furthest from the action in the distant outer rings of the general parking areas rather than close to the stadium. No doubt the reason for doing such a numbskulled thing will be over “safety concerns.”

  • Clarence

    Here’s a great Streetfilm on Bike Parking at San Francisco Giants home:

    http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/sf-giants-valet-bike-parking-81-games-per-year/

    Send it around. Look how easy it is to find there!

  • Matt Walsh

    There is great bike parking all throughout the stadium. best spots available. you just have to look for these blue signs with a picture of a guy in a wheelchair.

  • matt w. haha, you are totally right. that’s where I ended up parking my bike. i was sure dodgers security was going to remove my bike at the behest of the angered bmw owner… but it was still there.

    (despite them telling me i could park it there)

    the funny thing is. they made me “check” my bike helmet. as if i’d fling it on the field in a fit of rage or something.

    maybe i should’ve tried to ride my bike in so they’d make me “check” that too, eh?

  • ubrayj02

    The Armadillos 42 rode up to see a game last summer, and I’ve ridden up twice by myself to meets friends.

    All you’ve got to do is lock up against those barrier fences and talk to the gate guard dudes. Since they don’t see many bikes, it isn’t that big of a deal.

    You save a ton of money on parking. Beers in a messenger bag are awesome. If ride up in a crew, all the pissef-off drivers (‘cuz they wish they had brought their bikes) give you more respect.

    I suggest getting to the stadium via Bishop Road (right past Cathedral Heights). It is less of a climb, and there is a cool tunnel you get to go through. Be wary of jackasses trying to show off their 4 cylinder import’s engine noises.

  • Damien Newton

    While the Dodgers may not have bothered to call me back, the good people at Dodger Thoughts got to the bottom of bike parking at the Stadium.

    http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/

    I asked Josh Rawitch of the Dodgers, and he replied that “Indeed, we allow bicycles to park at the top of lot P to the left of the gates.”

  • we allow bicycles to park

    wow.. they are “allowing” bicycles to park there. how completely magnanimous of them.

    how about a place where there is “designated” parking.

    more info please!

  • Colin B.

    I have usually found stadiums to be aesthetically pleasing. So, often when I travel, I go out of my way to view and take pictures of various stadiums and if possible, attend a game. Years ago, when in LA, I cycled to Dodger Stadium and wanted to go into the parking lot to take pictures of the exterior. I was told at the gate that in no uncertain terms, that it was private property and I was not allowed in to the parking area. There was a doubleheader that afternoon, and I had been thinking about going, but after that, I found better things to do with my time.

    On the same trip, I was in SF and cycled out to an afternoon game at Candlestick Park. After I bought my ticket, I asked a gate attendant where was a good place to park my bike. He told me to bring it inside the gate and pointed me to an area where I could park my bike.

  • Colin B: They let the Militant bring his bike into the parking lot but he was told to walk it. So he did…until the parking attendants couldn’t see him anymore.

    After the game, it took him less than three minutes to get out of the park.