Update on Non-Auto Options to Dodger Stadium
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.