Dodger Stadium gondola project sparks gentrification and privacy concerns from nearby residents

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ByRob Hayes via KABC logo
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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A gondola system could help Dodger fans escape the dreaded gridlock of getting out of the stadium. But people living near the stadium have serious concerns over privacy and potential gentrification.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A project backed by former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to build a mile-long gondola system from Union Station to Dodger Stadium is now in the hands of the environmental nonprofit Climate Resolve.

Officials for Climate Resolve say they have formed a new subsidiary called Zero Emissions Transit that will accept ownership of McCourt's Los Angeles Aerial Rapid Transit project, which aims to build an emission-free gondola route capable of moving thousands of people each hour.

"We're hoping there will be about 50 of these that will whisk people up from Union Station to Dodger Stadium in about seven minutes," said Climate Resolve's executive director Jonathan Parfrey, referring to one of the gondola cabins that is now on display in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

Climate Resolve said the gondola rides would be free for everyone who shows a current Dodger ticket and could carry about 5,000 people per hour, potentially keeping up to 3,000 vehicles out of the parking lot on game days.

RELATED: Group challenges plan to build gondola line from Union Station to Dodger Stadium

"This is taking cars off the road, it's improving air quality, it's addressing climate change, it's reducing traffic, it's making life easier for a bunch of people," Parfrey said.

But the gondola proposal has struck a nerve with some Chinatown residents who say it will lead to gentrification of their neighborhood and create privacy issues as thousands of people per hour pass over their homes.

"It would hurt our neighborhoods. It would put a gondola just 40 feet above my house," said Phyllis Ling. "It would be really difficult to live with this, that invasion of privacy."

Ling lives in Chinatown and is part of the group StopTheGondola.org. Its members say the gondola project is an impractical waste of money, when Metro already offers free bus service from Union Station to all Dodger home games.

"That's only 82 games a year. What about the rest of the year? Why do we need a gondola to do that?" said Richard Rojas, also a member of StopTheGondola.org.

Metro is currently reviewing the project and environmental reviews still have to be completed. If that all stays on track, Climate Resolve says 2027 is probably the earliest the gondolas can go into service.