Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Dodger Stadium: 51 Years Of Traffic Woes

Bob Timmerman over at LA Observed unearthed this gem: we have been terrified by post-game traffic from Dodger Stadium ever since it opened:

The day before the game, Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker issued this warning to fans, "It will take two hours to get into Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine and two hours to get out." Parker's favored route into the stadium was to use the Elysian Park Avenue entrance off of Sunset. His second favorite was to use Scott Avenue. He told people to avoid the Academy Road entrance at all costs since it was supposed to be the most congested. (As a side note, I almost always use the Academy Road entrance now. Because it is the least congested. Echo Park residents have continually battled the Dodgers over the Scott Avenue route.)

Parker's "two hour" prediction lacked some specificity. Most importantly, it wasn't two hours to or from any particular place. It was just "two hours."

It turned that on Opening Day, the traffic was not particularly bad. Jim Murray wrote that it took him just one hour to get to Dodger Stadium from his home in Malibu. Of course, Murray probably got to the game much earlier than most of the fans, but that is still an impressive time.

Two days after Opening Day, Sid Ziff of the Times had a column with the headline "Beating the Jam." There was one small picture in the column. It was of Chief Parker.

Ziff asked Parker why the predicted traffic nightmare at "Golden Gulch" (a nickname the Times tried to bestow on Dodger Stadium that didn't stick). Parker responded:

"I think our admonition had its desired effect. Apparently, it resulted in the crowd getting in early and avoiding this great crush. Equally important is that 75 percent of the spectators left before the ninth inning and this was motivated by a desire to avoid a tieup. The people listen and complied with our warning and I am glad of the way everything turned out."


Jason said...

See, it's the LAPD's fault that people leave early.

Also, the Times might have had better luck trying to get Glitter Gulch to stick.

Franklin Stubbs said...

Well, the maximum occupancy is the same as it was in 1962, so it makes sense.

Maybe there are more single-occupant vehicles these days, but I wouldn't guess by much.

The geography of the stadium isn't going to change any time soon (I hope). If we want to relieve the congestion, there's going to have to be some sort of move towards public transport connections.


Hideo Nomo said...

Ample staffing before and after games would help a lot. At recent games, I noticed extra staff working the lines at the parking gates, so you could pay ahead. That helps.

After the game is still a free-for-all, though. Keep people out in the lots to enforce the traffic flow.