It doesn’t take a seasoned Angeleno to know that Dodger Stadium traffic is painful. Fans come from all over the city and beyond, and, if they are driving, they crawl up Sunset Boulevard, crawl through the gates, then creep toward a parking spot. Surely, there’s a better way—a faster way—right?
There are options: The free Dodger Stadium Express carries baseball fans right up to an entrance, there’s a solid supply of bike parking, and those looking to get a little urban exploration in before the game can walk to the stadium.
Each of these modes has its advantages and drawbacks, but how do they stack up against each other? In search of the speediest, most efficient way to get to a Dodger game, and inspired by KPCC’s race to the Santa Monica Pier from Union Station, Curbed LA raced to the stadium for a Saturday afternoon game against the Chicago Cubs.
From Union Station to the Top of the Park Team Store at top deck level entrance
The car: Adrian Glick-Kudler took Alameda through Chinatown to the Downtown gate
The bike: I peddled straight up Cesar Chavez/Sunset Boulevard to the Sunset gate
The Dodger Stadium Express shuttle: Elijah Chiland was ferried up Sunset through the gate of the same name
The pedestrian: Jeff Wattenhofer rode the Gold Line to the Chinatown stop, then walked to Downtown Gate via a pedestrian bridge over the 110 Freeway
Before setting off at noon, the consensus had been either the bike rider (me) or the shuttle rider (Elijah) would win. But once we all hit the streets, that prediction quickly changed.
Sunset was emptier than I’d seen it in a while. (Did FYF turn Echo Park into a ghost town?) I had the bus lane to myself, but the rest of the street was just as carless. From behind the wheel of her car, driving through Chinatown, Adrian was seeing the same thing. “Once I got on the road, and I saw how little traffic there was, and my GPS told me it was going to be like 12 minutes, I thought, ‘Uh oh, I’m going to get there pretty quickly,’” she said.
Back at Union Station, Elijah didn’t immediately get onto the shuttle. He paused for free cans of La Croix, promotional gifts from some marketing people stationed near the Dodger Stadium Express shuttle pick-up spot. Free sparkling water acquired, Elijah boarded a bus that was already there and left shortly after.
Jeff was catching his Gold Line to Chinatown around this time; he estimates he waited about five minutes for the train. From Chinatown, he walked toward the stadium by way of Yale Avenue, a popular route for Dodger fans entering the stadium on foot. His walk was a picturesque if solitary one. “I didn’t see a soul on the Downtown side, really even when I was in Chinatown, since that pedestrian bridge is tucked away down a dead-end street,” he said. “It was a bit eerie.”
While Jeff was hoofing it through the hills toward the Downtown gate, Adrian was already pulling up to its parking lines. Having purchased pre-paid parking online, she got to use a separate pre-paid parking lane, but she’s not sure that helped because, “it was early, so