Fantasy Football: Design the New Stadium’s Transportation Plan

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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?

13 thoughts on Fantasy Football: Design the New Stadium’s Transportation Plan

  1. There needs to be a stadium bus network serving the stadium, with direct access from all major transit hubs in the region, such as the end of the Green Line, North Hollywood Station, and Union Station. Something like the Hollywood Bowl service but on a grander scale. Buses should have their own lane on Grand Avenue entering the stadium – perhaps you might cone off a lane traveling the opposite direction from where the majority of the traffic is going and make it contraflow.

    In addition, the Metrolink station at Brea Canyon Road should be moved east to be adjacent to the stadium and utilize the giant parking lot for Metrolink parking.

    Pedestrian and bicycle access should be provided, but it’s unlikely anyone will use it. The stadium is not near any major population centers, except for a residential neighborhood in Diamond Bar that will be completely fenced off from the stadium. Thus, they get all of the disadvantages of living near the stadium (noise, light pollution), and none of the advantages. I would create an access point between the stadium and the neighborhood, but check for resident IDs on game day so that drunk people don’t decide to sober up there and throw up on someone else’s lawn.

    The biggest point of congestion at the game is the toll booth to get into the stadium. Some places with tons of parking, like California Speedway (Auto Club Speedway), have gotten rid of the pay gates and gone to free parking. This is a bad idea here, but some sort of prepaid parking using Fastrak or another Electronic Toll Collection method should be arranged. Also make parking a unit of $20 – $20, $40, etc. Then there’s no fumbling with change.

    Leaving the game is also a big point of congestion, especially on a Sunday afternoon in the westbound direction where you are competing with all of those folks heading back from the desert and the mountains. There are going to be some activities near the stadium to address that, but likely all of the restaurants are going to be packed. I would run shuttles to nearby commercial strips in Walnut, Diamond Bar, and Pomona so that some other restaurants can get the benefit of stadium clientele, and folks have some assurance that their cars are going to be there three or four hours after the game is over.

    It’s not “clearly” a bad idea, by the way. The stadium project is better than dropping more warehouses on the site (the original plan), with lots of polluting trucks carrying cargo back and forth. Although I’m not a big fan of the Raiders or 49ers moving into the stadium, most other teams would have a good clientele that would also spend money throughout the San Gabriel Valley. And it provides major league sports to the Inland Empire, a vast two million person area lacking anything better than single A baseball or D league basketball. The Inland Empire is our version of New Jersey, but New Jersey actually has pro sports and Division 1-A football and basketball. The IE has nothing.

  2. If it has a *good* transit connection (and my threshold of what I would tolerate is pretty high), I would actually go and see a football game.

    Moving the Metrolink station to take advantage of the parking is a wonderful idea. This is the situation at Anaheim Station and there is never somebody looking for a space.

  3. I’m no fan of suburban stadiums. Placing a stadium that far outside the team’s primary market only ensures wasted gas and unnecessary traffic — which in L.A., inevitably translates to traffic jams and SigAlerts, despite the presence of a Metrolink stop. Now that the city is finally getting a real transit system, piecemeal though it may be, doesn’t it make more sense to build a stadium in a central location that’s more accessible by bus and light rail?

  4. Metrolink access is great, but let’s be realistic: there’ll likely never be the service frequency to handle the comings and goings of more than a tiny percentage of fans, and who would want to wait an hour for the next train (if there even is one, especially on a weekend)?

    I second bikingla’s notion that suburbia aint’ the place for a stadium, and this location stretches the meaning of the word: it’s in a lightly-populated hilly area surrounded by a whole lot of very little. Gentlemen, start your engines.

  5. Then where would you put a stadium then? The LA Coliseum is unusable because it cannot be upgraded to NFL standards. The Rose Bowl is out because the residents are tired of the UCLA traffic as it is. The Anaheim Stadium parking lot is insufficient, and the MetroMall site in Carson has the same greenfield issues, plus hazardous waste problems since it’s a former landfill. Hopefully you aren’t suggesting to eminent-domain a poor neighborhood to put in an urban football stadium that will be used 15-25 times a year. Are you suggesting that the California Speedway shouldn’t have been built out in Fontana and should have been built closer to the “population center” solely so that you could bike to it? (NASCAR and NFL draw similar groups of high income people.) Or you could be opposed to the NFL, which is fine, although that doesn’t stop thousands of Angelenos from getting in their cars and driving 120 miles to San Diego to see professional football.

    Metrolink is supposed to run special trains to the stadium. The current plan is to shuttle people from the existing Brea Canyon station to the stadium. However, the east stadium parking lot is directly adjacent to the UP train tracks. You could run a siding at the parking lot and create a temporary station much like California Speedway. Or, better yet, use the east parking lot as a permanent Metrolink station, since Industry Metrolink is the fourth busiest Metrolink station in the system. It draws passengers from Orange County and the Chino Valley because of its freeway convenient location. The stadium should pay for all of these as part of the mitigation.

  6. If it ends up being the Raiders or a team like them, why not just use the parking lot next to the county jail? ;>

    At least it’ll be next to Union Station.

  7. Ugh. I hate to be a david-downer, but I really don’t see this stadium being built with transit-friendliness in mind.

    The close metrolink station is good, but as other people have mentioned in the Dodger-Trolley thread, Metrolink is service is not sufficient to be useful to fans of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Even though there is a metrolink/surfliner station there, I doubt many people use it for the games.

    Metrolink is already hurting for ridership, so I doubt they can afford to expand service much. Now, if the NFL team that comes in is willing to put up the money for increased metrolink service on game-nights, that would be one thing. But if they’re anything like the Dodgers, they won’t.

    Yuck.

  8. I’ll note that, being from San Diego, Qualcomm stadium (formerly Jack Murphy stadium) in Mission Valley has trolley service. In fact, when the superbowl was there (2003?) they didn’t allow anyone to park at the stadium, and everyone had to use the Trolley to get there. As I really from the local news stories I saw that it worked pretty well. DIdn’t attend the game myself.

    Still, this “L.A.” stadium is 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Just seems like civic sprawl, to me.

  9. If I had the power, I’d make the developer put up $1 billion seed money for the Red line extension from DTLA to City of Industry. Anything short of that will be a traffic disaster of epic proportion. This obviously will never happen because we don’t have a regional transit agency with that kind of power, and City of Industry has no incentive to play along… they don’t have any residential population and their tax base (the business park and warehouse owners and the business that rents them) have no vote.

    On a more practical level, I think these are absolute necessary steps to take:

    1. Developer should pay for extension of Gold line from Downtown Whittier to City of Industry.

    2. Developer/team/stadium owner must paid for additional Metrolink service on game day – this should not be negotiable… I think at a very minimum we need the following:
    – 4 trains from Ventura/SFV line that pass trough Downtown LA and continue on the Riverside line to City of Industry at 30 min intervals before and after the game
    – 2 trains from Oceanside/OC that goes up to Corona and then to City of Industry, at 1 hour intervals before and after the game
    – 4 trains on the Riverside line (run the full length from Riverside to Union Station) in 30 min intervals before and after the game – but 15 mins apart from the SFV and OC trains so in effect, there will be a train that stops at City of Industry every 15 minutes before and after the game.

    3. The north-south transit will be a big problem due to lack of trains. I think the team will need to pay for special charter bus service that runs on dedicated lanes on Azusa/Colima Ave and Harbor Blvd in Fullerton. Shuttle bus should run every 15 minutes.
    – Gold Shuttle serviced by Foothill Transit: Gold line station Sierra Madre-Santa Anita Mall-210 freeway carpool lane to Azusa Ave exit- Azusa Ave south (coned off dedicate lane)-Puente Hills Mall-Colima Ave to Stadium
    – Green Shuttle (serviced by Metro or OCTA): Green line station Norwalk-Cerritos Mall (or Cerritos Town Center)-91 freeway carpool lane to Harbor Blvd exit-Harbor Blvd north (on coned off dedicated lane) to Downtown Fullerton or Fullerton Metrolink station-57 freeway carpool lane-Brea Mall-Brea Caynon Road to Stadium
    Orange Shuttle (serviced by OCTA): Irvine Spectrum-5 freeway carpool lane to Block at Orange-57 freeway carpool lane to Brea Mall-same route to stadium as Green shuttle

    4. For people that insist on driving, there needs to be a traffic plan for the freeways. I think the most effective plan would be the separate east/south and west/north bound traffic to different sides of the stadium:
    – 60 freeway East bound use Fairway exit to Valley Blvd to stadium
    – 57 freeway South bound use Temple exit to Valley Blvd to stadium
    – 57 freeway North bound use Diamond Bar Blvd exit to Grand to stadium
    – 60 freeway West bound use Grand exit direct into stadium

    2 hours before and after the game, these exits should be closed:
    – North bound 57 at Pathfinder and at Grand
    – South bound 57 at Sunset and at Brea Canyon (also a 60 West bound exit)
    – Eest bound 60 at Brea Canyon/Golden Spring and at Grand

  10. Bzcat, you have very grand plans, but remember that the stadium would be used for 8 games a year, plus possible playoffs and maybe one of the four years a Super Bowl is played outside of Florida.

    Extending urban rail to that stadium would be overkill. There isn’t much to do around that stadium, and it isn’t suitable for an L.A. Live type of entertainment district.

    Metrolink, though, would be a better choice as most of the game days would be on Sundays when there is equipment to spare. Trains could even be through-routed, so they start on, say, Ventura County or Antelope Valley service, then continue on Riverside Line service to the stadium. The IE/OC Line could take care of the other counties with a transfer or turnaround in Riverside.

  11. I can’t believe that calwatch dismiss the LA coliseum:

    “The LA Coliseum is unusable because it cannot be upgraded to NFL standards.”

    And nobody pointed out that this is the same NFL that let former Raiders owner screw this city over for millions of dollars.

    Screw the NFL. We should put a freakin’ toll on exiting the freeways on game days to keep people from going to the stadium.

  12. Express Buses to Park-Ride centers with the expansion of the HOV network would be a very good alternatives to get the stadium for those 8 or so seasonal game days.

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