Taking a Bike to Dodger Stadium

 
See that little circle? That’s where the bike rack is.

The New York Mets were in town this week and that means I had a chance to go see some baseball in Dodger Stadium. Being the studious transportation blogger I am, I made sure to take all three available modes, bike, foot and car, to the ball game. It’s a good thing there wasn’t a fourth game, because there’s still no word on mass transit heading to Dodger Stadium anytime this season. 

Either tomorrow or next week, I’ll talk about the different experiences walking and driving to the stadium. Today we’ll focus on the bike ride.

Riding up to the stadium on my bike I was bound and determined to see what awaited a cyclist traveling to Dodger Stadium. Having been assured at a City Council hearing that the parking areas were bike friendly and there was a rack in Lot P, and following the example of the militant angeleno, I was ready to go.

On my way up to the Sunset Gate, the police directed me into the shoulder and I was able to make my trip without being bothered by car drivers, even when I was moving a little slowly. At the gate I zipped through the one closed gate as smiling attendants waved me through. I stopped to ask one about bike parking. 

"Park anywhere," I was told.
"Is there a bike rack anywhere?" I followed up.
"I don’t think so, but just chain your bike to a pole somewhere."
I sighed, and asked, "Thanks, where’s Lot P?"

As I biked toward lot P the same conversation was repeated about 10 more times. Nobody knew where the Secret Bike Parking is.  At lot P, the conversation got a small variation.

"Where’s the bike parking?" I asked the attendant.

"There is no bike parking, they took it out last year."

"I was told it was here at Lot P."

"Look around, do you see any bike parking?"



Lot P

Exasperated, I biked up to the closest stadium entrance so I could at least lock my bike up close to the stadium. Lo and behold, next to the gate was the elusive bike parking! One single bike rack, separated from the flow of pedestrian traffic by a gate made of other bike racks, and its own security guard. The location of the bike rack, to my best estimate, is marked on the image at the top of the post by the white circle near the stadium.


I also ran into two other cyclists who were chaining their bikes up. After the game they laughed that they were thinking of stealing my bike (I didn’t do as good a job locking it up as I should have) and probably thought they should have when they found out I was putting it on a bike rack and riding out of the stadium in a car (more on that in the next post…)

Having done the bike trip I do have some suggestions for the Dodgers to make life easier for those choosing to brave Chavez Ravine and travel to the stadium on two wheels.

First, the parking attendants need to be educated on where the bike parking is. It’s sad that I couldn’t find one parking attendant that knew where the bike parking was until it was literally 100 yards away.

Second, directions to the bike lot should appear on the parking website. I think more cyclists know where the bike parking is because of Streetsblog and Militant Angeleno than do because of any effort made by the Dodgers.


Third, make a bike/pedestrian lane on the roads up to the stadium. I’m not even going to suggest that we should take away one of the car lanes, which they probably should. At the very least take away a couple of feet of asphalt to give pedestrians and cyclists the ability travel to the stadium in a separated lane.

Last, how about placing a bike rack at every entrance? Why just the one at the highest entrance point to the stadium? On the way out of Dodger Stadium, at the northeast entrance to the stadium, I saw bikes chained to poles on both Monday and Tuesday night so there is some demand for the racks already. If people knew there was a safe way to park their bikes, the handful of people that currently bike to the games might increase dramatically. 

Here are some other images from my bike trip to Dodger Stadium.


A father-son bike team on their first ride to the stadium

The Dodgers provide a way for vendors and other employees to bus away from the lots…maybe they could do that for everyone



Very nice people. But completely unhelpful when trying to find a needle in a haystack

Top Image: LA Dodgers, but edited by Damien Newton

Photos: Damien Newton

  • Awesome Damien, not just for biking to The Stadium, but doing it in Dodger gear!

    Good to know other people are using the rack too, although it looks like they moved the thing towards the wall, whereas when the Militant checked it out right before the start of the season, it was right in the middle of the little nook there. Having it against the wall reduces the capacity of the rack in half.

  • Damien Newton

    Oh, that’s not me and my Dad…that’s two guys that I met on the way up to the stadium. Before someone else rats me out, I should admit that with a wife that was a former Mets’ contractor and with me neither a Mets’ or Dodgers’ fan, I wasn’t wearing Dodgers blue…

  • I rode my bike to the stadium 3 times last season – and I’d like to echo your sentiment, Damien.

    It isn’t that bad, but it isn’t that good, either.

    I would recommend leaving and arriving when things are totally jam packed with cars. When there is less traffic, people drive totally out of control looking for parking or trying to escape from the stadium parking lot. It was really dangerous-feeling the one time I left the ballpark and there wasn’t much traffic.

  • Bleah…You suck, then :)

    Seriously, why did they move the rack? It looks like it’s in the far left wall – a much-less visible place. And they’ve reduced the capacity from 20 bikes to 10.

    Still, it’s a good thing more people are biking it to the Stadium considering that even that father-son pair pictured above didn’t even lock their bikes in the rack yet.

    But yeah, +1 on additional bike parking adjacent to other entrances to the Stadium. Maybe the organization assumes everyone who bikes to the Stadium can’t afford a car, and therefore can only afford Top Deck seats.

  • good job damien.

    can we also talk about how this is the bare minimum in bicycle rack provisions? freaking wheel benders. give me a break.

    they really broke the bank with an $800 rack.
    http://www.bikeracks.com/html/stra__9_.html

    at least get some inverted u’s in there.

  • F**K BASEBALL. When y’all were still whining about the lack of bike racks at Dodger Stadium I was locking my bike to a pole outside the Coliseum for the sold out exhibition match between Chivas Guadalajara and Club America (and LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA). Boo on stick ball.

    Still, seriously, big ups for riding and pushing this issue! Tenacity, u haz it.

  • i like soccer. i’m so alternative. i’m cultured because i like a “world” sport.

    ;)

  • Oh, it’s on now! Did you just accuse me of liking stuff white people like? I will kick your butt on the intertubes. I’m going to make lots of mean comments about you on blogs and then hover over the refresh button all evening.

  • Clarence Eckerson
  • Dave

    Hey Demian,

    I am the son in the father and son picture. I will not rat you out as to what you were wearing or how graceful you appeared on your bike.

    Our seats were on the field level so once we figured out that the bike racks were located on the top deck we just locked it up at a fence located a lot closer to us.

    Those hills are killer though especially if you’re just riding a cruiser. Coming back was easier. Going downhill shaved 20 minutes off our commute home.

    Total time going from Sherman Oaks to the Metro Red Line to Union Station to sitting in our seats was 1 hour 45 minutes.

    Sitting through the 12-1 drubbing was the worst part of our trip.

  • Jason

    While there is no transit that drops you off right at the stadium entrance, the Sunset Boulevard Metro lines (2, 4, 302, 704) drop you off a short (10-15 minute walk away). Granted, it is uphill, but I haven’t known too many transit trips in LA that didn’t require a walk on either end. It just bugs me when people say that there is no transit option to destination X if the transit doesn’t stop within in yards of the entrance. Don’t get me wrong, door to door would be GREAT, but at least this is there.

  • While there is no transit that drops you off right at the stadium entrance, the Sunset Boulevard Metro lines (2, 4, 302, 704) drop you off a short (10-15 minute walk away). Granted, it is uphill, but I haven’t known too many transit trips in LA that didn’t require a walk on either end. It just bugs me when people say that there is no transit option to destination X if the transit doesn’t stop within in feet of the entrance. Don’t get me wrong, door to door would be GREAT, but at least this is there.

  • I live in Pasadena and went to a Dodger game just now. Here’s the highlights.

    1) Took the Gold Line Metro Rail. Great train. Clean, comes reasonably often. (Side note: There’s no bike rack at the LA Lake St station though. Had my bike stolen there last time when I locked it to a metal bench.)
    2) Got off in Chinatown Station.
    3) Biked up to Yale St and took that little pedestrian bridge over the fwy.
    4) WOW! What a hill. Parking attendants at the foot of the hill don’t seem to know what to do with a person on a bike. I say a prayer, cross some lanes, get honked at, flip someone off, and start my way up the hill.
    5) Sh*t this is a big hill.
    6) Pass the toll booths. Hehe suckers. No $15 parking for me. Man, I’m hot and sweaty though.
    7) Top of the hill, say another prayer, car honks, flip them off, another car comes real close to make a point that bikes don’t belong at the Dodger’s Stadium.
    8) Parking attendants don’t know where bike racks are. One radios in and says it’s in lot P. No one knows where this is.
    9) At the gate, no one knows where a bike rack is. I say “Well, you have radios right? Someone has to know where this little bike rack is.” So one radios over one of the managers.
    10) Now I’m talking with two people at the gate and a manger guy, and two cops come over. One of them confidently says “there’s no bike racks here.” I say “Yes there are, but no one can point me to where it is.” He looks annoyed.
    11) I suggest “Can I lock my bike up out here? Off to the side? I’m okay with it if you are.”
    12) Handlebar mustache cop looks like he’s about to object, so I cut him off “Look everyone, I’m not trying to be a dick here. I have a ticket, I could have driven to the game. I chose to ride a bike here because it never occurred to me that Dodger Stadium was unprepared for people coming on a bicycle. There’s a Metro station at the foot of the hill. I can’t be the first person to ride their bike up the hill to come watch a game. Are casual bike riders second class fans at the stadium?”
    13) This resonates with the other (female) cop. She says, well, I think it’s fine if you lock your bike off to the side here in the smoking area.
    14) I thank everyone. Ticket-takers look relieved. Handlebar mustache cop walks away.

    So yes, it can be done. Just not very easily. And not without LA drivers being angry at you when you try and cross some lanes into the stadium.

    Every time I take public transportation in LA I regret it. It takes twice as long, annoys me twice as much, and usually involves a lot of transfers. The Gold Line in Pasadena is an exception. So is the Blue Bus in Santa Monica. But as an example, try getting from Pasadena to Santa Monica using public transportation sometime. Try to find a way that will take less than 2 hours (including waiting time between trains and busses).

    I’m trying LA! But you’re just too big for good/convenient public transportation systems. And people in LA treat cyclists pretty bad.

  • calwatch

    To answer this question, it’s Pasadena Gold Line to Santa Monica Big Blue Bus 10. Unfortunately, it does require planning around the SM 10 schedule but it is doable and combines your two favorite systems.

  • Hi Jeremy, thanks for posting.

    Yeah, the point of the article is that I knew where the bike racks were and they were nigh impossible to find. Hell, I had a Dodgers executive point it out to me on a map, and I had a guy at the front of the lot they’re located behind tell me they didn’t exist.

    In short, if you’re going to bike, ask the traffic directors for LOT P. It’s at the gate directly behind that lot.

  • Always watch out for cops with mustaches = they’re the worst. I’m sort of joking, but I’m sort of not. It’s like the guy with a bow tie on political talk show – he’ll be the rabid conservative.

  • RZ

    Thanks this really helped. planning on riding my bike there next week and meet up with freinds. i couldnt find one thing on bike racks or bike parking on the dodger website.

  • Ross Hirsch

    Biking to the games and bike parking at Dodger Stadium is a snap–nobody should feel discouraged. You get the best parking in the house, you avoid the $15 parking fee, and you get to bike right through the lines of idling cars. I highly recommend it. (Just watch out for cars zipping through the parking lot.)

    If you’re interested, here’s a slightly more detailed account:

    Since reading this article when it was initially published, I have biked to the stadium several times. Each time, I do what Damien did: I ask every parking attendant where the bikes racks are. I do it (1) because I have a bike and want to park it in the most appropriate place, and (2) I figure the more people that raise awareness of the fact that people actually do bike to games and it is a great way to get there, perhaps one day, there will be more of an emphasis on biking to the game, appropriate parking, and eventually we’ll see that long line of traffic on Sunset and feeder streets on game days slowly diminish.

    It’s always great to see the parking attendants’ faces when I, bike in hand, as where the bike racks are. You would think I arrived on an banana-powered spaceship. They are confused, do not know of any “bike racks” or “bike parking” and have directed me to all types of varying areas around the stadium.

    The consensus that I arrived at, and confirmed from several supervisors, is that you are free to park your bike anywhere near the gates. Several supervisors were actually very supportive of my transportation choice on a personal level. Pro tip: find the area where your seats are and lock up to a fence near the closest entry. You will likely only have to walk yards to get to your seat–as opposed to what seems to be the several-mile-long trek that car-fans are required to walk between their cars and the stadium. Obviously, you should be mindful of the foot and car traffic and make sure your bike is out of the way, but you also don’t want to place your bike in a hidden area out of the public’s or security’s view, which will give you the best chances of again seeing your bike after the game.

    It’s been a good few weeks since I’ve biked to Dodger Stadium, so perhaps in that time frame they have issued a policy on bike parking, so riders are well advised to take the “Damien Approach” and ask a few of the parking attendants on the way in if there is any bike parking policy and/or location and what their thoughts are on where best to park a bike. Guaranteed to be amusing if you’ve got a sense a humor about the whole thing.

  • Full map has been shared in this article related with the information of valet parking areas of the city.This will help a lot while parking and searching places of valet parking in the city.

  • How safe would you all say it is for my 6 year old son to ride there with us? He’s got good control of his bike and can ride in a straight line, but i still prefer that he ride on the sidewalk when there are cars around. Are there any sidewalks on the route there? Thanks!
    Erik

  • I would say he’s probably too young. There are portions of the route with no sidewalks at all, and it’s still a pretty big and steep hill. It’s great you got him out on the street at all at six, but maybe start with biking to a Lakers game.

  • Thanks for the quick reply. I’ll ride him on the back of my cargo bike and work those hills myself!

  • mariana

    Theres also bike parking on left loge next to the big LA sign and I believe I saw one on top deck parking lot P

  • Niall Huffman

    This piece is 5 years old. A lot of new bike parking was just added earlier this season. It’s great to have proper bike racks in multiple convenient locations at Dodger Stadium!

  • Cameron Newland

    Me and my girlfriend cycled to the Dodgers game yesterday and were directed by the security folks to Lot L’s bike racks, which were closest to our seats. When we arrived, we discovered that the bike racks were the older/outdated style that don’t allow you to properly secure your bicycle frame to the rack, but rather just the wheels.

    I must say, I was quite happy to see that the security guards knew that there was bike parking and that they knew where it was, but it’s a little unsettling that the Dodgers thought to offer bike racks that would allow a potential thief to steal a fan’s bicycle (sans wheels, of course).

    It seems like the bike parking situation has improved since this post, however, it still has far to go.

  • kyle_online

    dodger stadium parking attendants are not knowledgeable at all. i was trying to figure out which gates feed which lots, and everyone i asked had no idea. very frustrating.

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