New football stadium would bring nearly 20,000 cars on game days
A new downtown football stadium and nearby convention center would bring an estimated 19,560 additional cars to the neighborhood during weekend events, according to an environmental impact report released Thursday.
With "unavoidable significant impacts" expected at an array of downtown freeway offramps, stadium developer Anschutz Entertainment Group plans to provide an array of traffic measures, including $10 million to upgrade a light rail station on Pico Boulevard and $2.4 million to help Caltrans add a lane to the 101 Freeway between the four-level interchange and Alvarado Street.
The spike in traffic caused by such events as NFL games, international soccer matches or college football championship games would generate significant and "unavoidable" impacts at 20 intersections in the hour after Sunday events and at 42 intersections after an event on Saturdays.
That would occur even after AEG adds traffic control measures to those intersections, according to the document. On weekdays, there would be significant and unavoidable effects at 72 intersections in the hour leading up to an event.
The project, not far from the interchange of the 10 and 110 freeways, also would have unavoidable significant impacts on freeway offramps after AEG puts its traffic management plan in place.
That troubles Victor Citrin, who lives just a few blocks away from the proposed stadium. He said traffic associated with Lakers games and other Staples Center events is problematic already and sometimes blocks residents from getting to their homes.
If a regular person made a proposal for something as disruptive as the new stadium, it would never be approved, he said.
"If we as private citizens do something that creates a problem, we are responsible for either mitigating the problem before it happens or rectifying the damage done afterwards," he said. "With all the knowledge that's already being admitted on how this is going to impact, why would the city even go along with this?
"The benefits to the city are just not great enough to warrant an intrusion of this scale into the downtown area," Citrin added.
The environmental analysis issued Thursday also seemed to indicate that major events at the new stadium and convention center wing would attract 19,467 inbound car trips on weekday evenings, with roughly half showing up before 5:30 p.m.
But that was not entirely clear because the numbers were summarized as "Weekend Day Event (Saturday and Sunday)." AEG spokesman Michael Roth said he could not immediately explain the discrepancy.
Project planners hope to address traffic by encouraging event goers to rely on mass transit, including the Metro Blue Line to Long Beach and the Expo line being built to Culver City and, in future years, to Santa Monica.
They also hope to encourage visitors to walk and use bicycles, according to the transportation chapter of the document.
AEG President Tim Leiweke will appear alongside labor and business leaders Thursday at a news conference about the report.
-- David Zahniser and Kate Linthicum at City Hall
Photo: A group hoping to bring the Rams back to Los Angeles from St. Louis was on hand as Tim Leiweke, president of Anschutz Entertainment Group, officially delivered the 10,000-page environmental impact report for a proposed new downtown football stadium to City Hall. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times