Update on Non-Auto Options to Dodger Stadium

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My first post for LA Streetsblog was about the Dodgers’ and City Council’s rushed attempt to provide bus access to Dodgers’ baseball games. A couple of days later, we discussed the challenges cyclists face when trying to park at Dodger Stadium. One Dodger’s fan site got in touch with Dodgers officials and confirmed that they "let you park" in lot P, but posters here remained unimpressed.

At a City Council meeting earlier today, we found out what alternative transportation options will be available by opening day. In short: yes on bikes racks, no on buses.

Howard Sunkin, Vice President of Public Affairs for the Dodgers, began his testimony in front of the committee. "I can confirm that there are bike racks at Dodger Stadium." The racks have been installed at Lot P and stadium staff is expecting cyclists and will be ready to offer assistance and directions this season.

Sunkin later offered, "I encourage everyone interested to bike to the game."

Streetsblog LA will put Sunkin’s encouragement to the test when I bike to a Dodgers’ game in early May.

As for buses, Sunkin was less enthusiastic at the prospect of having a bus plan in place by Opening Day, which is just 13 days away at the time of writing this piece. Sunkin cited a lack of resolution by Metro and LADOT to get the bus plan in place.

Major League Baseball might be in Spring Training, but the LADOT’s excuse machine was in mid-season form. The Department seemed uninterested in exploring transit options, offering a variety of excuses ranging from "it’s difficult to get buses up the hill" to "there are limits on how much the Dodgers can kick in because of FTA regulations" to "shuttle service connected to existing routes could cost up to $200,000."

The Council Committee was unimpressed.

Councilwoman Wendy Greuel seemed perplexed, wondering, "Don’t private buses go up and down that hill all the time?" Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Richard Alarcón did the math and realized the cost for a shuttle comes to less than $2,400 per game.

Sunkin summed it up best when he ended his testimony: "For the Dodgers, this isn’t about $200,000. It’s about public transit to one of the great attractions in Los Angeles." The Council Transportation Committee agreed and voted to require LADOT to report back on more options at a future meeting.

Photo:kla4067/Flickr

  • Radical Transportation Engineer

    “it’s difficult to get buses up the hill” to “there are limits on how much the Dodgers can kick in because of FTA regulations”

    Wow, those are some of the best BS excuses I’ve heard.
    So, since 2004 when the buses were last provided to the stadium (correct?), apparently LADOT has let their buses deteriorate to the point o utter uselessness? Is that what they are saying by talking about getting the buses up the hill? Since I’ve not been to Dodgers stadium, I have a question…is this hill something cyclists have to get up too? Perhaps LADOT should switch to manpower? Maybe the executive board could pedal people up the hill if their buses can’t make it!

    And um…the Mets provide their own shuttles to every game from remote parking, not once has the FTA ever been mentioned or been a concern.

    You think LADOT just has a book of excuses and they close their eyes and point to one in the book for whatever meeting they are attending? Just another fine example of beaurocratic laziness. I’m glad the transportation committee saw through this and are forcing them to find solutions. I only fear it will be too late for this season at the rate this has been moving.

  • We all have to understand that a bus system is not going to be in place to go to Dodgers stadium because of the many different costs. First, not enough people will use it, so that will be money wasted. It will never be up to the satisfaction of the spoiled car crazed Angelinos, because some people will not accept anything inferior to a system that will not take them from their front door to their destination. Plus, the McCourts would lose too much money in parking revenue. They might seem to back a bus system to the stadium but deep down they are fearing the loss in the revenue. Think about it 4000 spaces * $10.00 * 82 games = 3,280,000.00. This is just an estimate, don’t go correcting me.

    So the only solution to our problem is to have a light rail built to the stadium. And the only way this is going to happen is if the McCourts are granted an NFL team and the NFL stadium is built on the parking lot. Check out the following link, it was a proposed light rail line that would go to Dodger Stadium with multiple access via north and south.

  • Anonymous

    Damien,

    Here’s a link to the related documents:

    http://tinyurl.com/2s8xqf

    Your summary is misleading in a few areas.

    1. You don’t give a background on the supposed “Hill” excuse. In the report which can be found from the link above, the concern was for narrow and hilly streets, a valid safety concern for buses. Additionally, that was not a blanket excuse for not providing public transportation to Dodger Stadium, but seemingly a concern for rerouting existing DASH service.

    2. You frame the issue like DOT is uninterested in providing transportation and cite the Council voting to have DOT report back with further information. Again, check the link above, and that is exactly what the DOT’s recommendation was.

    3. You don’t give any (brief) history on the issue. Check the report linked above for that.

    4. Are you serious about your citation of the “disparity” between cost estimates? You cite the estimate of 200k in a paragraph in which you’re blasting LADOT. But that estimate is Metro’s. Confoundingly, the next paragraph is framed as Councilmembers LaBonge and Alarcon discounting the 200k estimate with their own 2.4k per game guestimate. Well, newsflash, 2.4k times 81 MLB games is 194k for an utterly incomprehensible difference of 6k.

    It’s good that you’re covering this, but you’re not doing it very well.

  • I encourage everyone interested to bike to the game

    let’s give it up for the “tepid endorsement” of the year. so, the racks have been “insalled.” past tense. i know they didn’t used to be be there.

    good job damien. i think they did this in part because of the awareness you helped create.

    did they say how many? i want some details, pronto. i might hop on over there on my lunch break tomorrow.

  • Damien Newton

    Anonymous,

    Thanks for posting the direct link to the report. For some reason, the link off the meeting agenda goes to a page that said there were no documents submitted at the time the agenda was posted. That’s on The City Clerk’s head, not LADOT’s.

    People can now read the report and make their own decisions.

    I will say that at the meeting there was definately a feeling of frustration both from the Dodger executive and the City Councilmembers and that’s what I was trying to capture in the post. Many of the numbers discussed in the second page for cost estimates, actually pretty much all of them, were not part of LADOT’s presentation. Maybe it was just the presentation that was lacking, reading the report now I see that there was some progress made.

    If I could hop in the Open Planning Project’s time machine and go back to yesterday this article might read a little differently, but I will say that the mandate from the 2/27 T committee meeting and the expectation of the councilmembers was that we should be working on getting bus service for opening day. Neither LADOT or Metro has shown the energy to even attempt to get service going in that time period.

    Please keep reading and posting…negative feedback helps keep me honest,

    D

  • cph

    I still think a wide ranging park/ride system, like the Hollywood Bowl buses (rather than a shuttle to Downtown/Union Station) is the way to go for Dodger Stadium….

  • It’s good to know it will be at least a little easier for people to go to The Stadium like a Militant. The Militant did it last August and people looked at him as if he were Lady Godiva riding on a horse.

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