ELYSIAN PARK (CBSLA.com) — A Dodgers Stadium gate that is set to reopen after nearly 20 years has neighbors in Echo Park upset.
The neighbors say the gate has been closed for almost 20 years -- and for good reason.
Juan Fernandez, reporting for KCAL9, spoke to some neighbors who think reopening the gate is off base.
Officials with the Dodgers and neighbors met on Wednesday evening to try to work out some kind of compromise -- it's a meeting called by the Dodgers.
The Scott Avenue Gate might reopen as early as Thursday for tomorrow night's Dodgers/Angels exhibition game.
The two LA baseball rivals will square off but not before neighbors and Dodgers brass do.
Today, Fernandez reports, work crews were putting the finishing touches on the gate.
Dodgers officials told Fernandez they wanted to address neighborhood fears -- especially the idea that fans will use their neighborhood as a large parking lot, to avoid paying the $20 to park at Chavez Ravine. The team argues, that with a full capacity of 56,000 inside the stadium, that closing one of five gates to traffic has never made sense, causes delays for fans and hampers their ability to get in and out of the parking lot quickly.
"Scott is not being reopened between Glendale and Stadium Way. We are opening Stadium Way so that we can take the cars off of Sunset that pile on to Elysian Park Avenue, pull the left two lanes off of Elysian Park Avenue around on Stadium Way, and into Gate B. So they're still coming from Sunset, we're just essentially taking a five-lane road and turning it into a seven-lane road," said Janet Marie Smith, Dodgers Sr. Vice President.
Ari Bessendorf of the Neighborhood Council isn't so sure.
"Opening the Scott Gate will cause gridlock all the way down Stadium Way and into the park," he said. "This is presenting a major public safety issue. People come for day games, they drink, they will come into the neighborhoods. There will be gridlock in the street. Increased enforcement inside the stadium. I think what we are worried about is another Bryan Stowe incident outside the stadium."
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