Yesterday, news broke that the City of Industry City Council unanimously voted to approve a plan to construct a new stadium to try and entice the Bills from Buffallo or the Raiders from Oakland. Putting aside any arguments about whether this is a good idea, because it clearly isnt’, I thought it could create a fun weekend excercise for Streetsbloggers. If you were the transportation engineer for this project, what would your plan for this stadium be?
Here’s what we know about the stadium’s transportation plans. First, there are a heck of a lot of freeways near the site. The I-57 and I-60 run on each side of the stadium, and the I-10, I-210, and I-605 all feed into those freeways locally. Adjacent towns are threatening to sue to stop the project siting local traffic fears, and the developer responded by promising to widen local streets. Personally, as someone who lived in East Rutherford, N.J., home to the New York Giants and Jets; the thought of 70,000 people sitting in their cars on the way to the stadium feels more like a recurring nightmare than anything else.
The good news? There will be a Metrolink train that stops adjacent to the stadium, with shuttles between the station and the stadium. They’re also planning a separate lot close to the stadium special for charter and transit buses.
After the jump, you can see my transportation plan for the stadium.
First off, having a transit option to the stadium is great; after all it’s better than some sports teams are doing. But to really make transit work, you need to promote it. The New York Mets actually doubled transit ridership to their games just by promoting the heck out of transit on commercials and during game broadcasts. Other teams have had similar success by offering discounts if you buy a transit pass at the time of buying a ticket, and others sell parking spaces with tickets. If they run out of spaces, they run out of spaces and the buyer has to figure out another way to get to the stadium.
Second, the development needs to be bicycle and pedestrian friendly. I know it’s difficult to picture acres and acres of asphalt parking as "pedestrian friendly;" but there is a lot that can be done to make it better. For example, the developer should provide separate and protected paths so pedestrians and cyclists are both safe and comfortable. The potential team could even turn the walkways in to part of the experience by having events, booths and food stands.
Third, the planner should protect the towns adjacent to the stadium. Widening the local roads is only going to increase ticket holders desire to skip the freeways and drive though these towns to the stadium. Unless I needed to hop on the freeway, I couldn’t tell you whether there was a game at Giants’ Stadium because East Rutherford didn’t increase its local traffic capacity when the stadium was built.
So there are my thoughts, what are yours?