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Taking a Bike to Dodger Stadium

2:13 PM PDT on May 8, 2008

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

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