LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Traffic in neighborhoods around Dodger Stadium is “worse than it’s ever been” due to recent changes, according to one Los Angeles City Council member.
In a letter (PDF) sent Tuesday to LA Dodgers President Stan Kasten, Councilman Mitch O’Farrell wrote that his “constituents feel let down by the Dodgers management” since the 2014 season got underway last month.
O’Farrell blamed the congestion issues primarily on the opening of the stadium’s Scott Avenue gate for the first time since 1996, when it was closed to incoming traffic.
He offered several suggestions to help improve the flow of traffic around the stadium, including opening the stadium as many as three hours earlier to allow people time to get to games, exploring shuttle options at local park-and-ride locations, and offering family activities to get people to show up earlier.
O’Farrell also recommended an automated parking management system that requires payment upon exiting – as opposed to entering – the stadium.
“That causes a major traffic jam, and what the result is is idling cars in our residential neighborhoods, blocking Sunset Boulevard for up to an hour,” O’Farrell told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO.
O’Farrell called on Dodgers management to meet with his office, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck and city Transportation General Manager Jon Mukri to work out a “better traffic management plan for all surrounding neighborhoods.”
Prior to the start of the season, team officials announced the expansion of the Dodger Stadium Express, a complimentary shuttle service from Union Station in downtown LA. The move introduced an additional stop at Dodger Stadium behind the pavilions and at the Top Deck, Lot P.
Fans were also offered new discounts for purchasing parking tickets in advance to speed up transaction time at the gates, which saves them $5 on regular parking price and $15 on premium parking.
Wednesday afternoon, Renata Simril, the Dodgers’ Senior Vice President of External Affairs, wrote O’Farrell back saying, in part, the team was “surprised by your letter.”
For the Dodgers’ complete response, click here for the PDF.
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