Controversial Aerial Tram Proposed to Serve Dodger Stadium
A private company has proposed a $125-million electric aerial gondola system to ferry baseball fans and concert goers from Union Station over the park to Dodger Stadium. While this may sound like an exciting idea that is almost like a new Disneyland ride, community activists have weighed in with a variety of concerns.
As reported by Louis Sahagan, this proposal is controversial because of its potential impacts on the Los Angeles State Historic Park and its patrons. The project currently offers two competing proposals: the southern Broadway alignment and the Spring Street alignment. Both would encroach upon and cross portions of the park with a passenger tower, stanchions, aerial cables and gondola cars able to transport some 5,500 people per hour from Union Station to the stadium in about seven minutes. The Spring Street alignment would be the most impactful to the park’s recreational opportunities, views, and archaeological resources, according to California State Parks officials.
To understand why the park is so significant, one would have to study its history and the long, difficult process involved in its creation. In the 1990s, the 32-acre property had become a legal battleground when the city of Los Angeles planned to turn it into a warehouse center. Activists and community residents opposed the warehouse proposal and demanded a park instead. Eventually, State Parks was able to acquire the property for park purposes in 2001. The park was built 16 years later with $20 million in voter-approved bond funds and touted as a model for solving land use battles in urban areas.