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Stop the GondoLA — Poster of the Week

Updated: Mar 11


Pável Acevedo

Digital print, 2024

Los Angeles, CA

CSPG's Poster of the Week features the "Stop the GondoLA" movement, opposing the construction of a 1.2 mile aerial gondola connecting Union Station and Dodger Stadium. Public hearings will take place on February 22, 10:00 am at Metro Headquarters, 3rd Floor 1 Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA.

The $300 million project was proposed by former Dodgers owner, Frank McCourt, who not only drove the team into financial bankruptcy in 2011, but is also co-owner of the parking lots surrounding Dodger Stadium. Officially called LA ART (Los Angeles Aerial Rapid Transit), the gondola is marketed as an electric-powered alternative to parking on-site at Dodger Stadium, free of charge to anyone who has purchased a Dodger game ticket.

One of the more arduous arguments for the project is that the gondola could transport 10,000 people per hour, about one fourth of the Dodger game attendance. This number would offer a reasonable alternative to driving, but there are no commuter trains running from suburban communities to Union Station. As a result, people will be more inclined to drive their cars to the gondola stations and park in the surrounding neighborhoods. This would add CO2 emissions into the surrounding neighborhoods of Dodger Stadium including Chinatown, Solano Canyon, La Loma, and Echo Park. A UCLA analysis found that LA ART would have less than 1% effect on traffic volume before and after Dodger games. Plus, there are already existing options like the Dodger Stadium Express which offers free bus rides from Union Station in downtown LA and the Harbor Gateway Transit Center in the South Bay, to Dodger Stadium.

Although supporters of the LA ART continue to drive the narrative that the use and construction of the gondola will be good for local economies, nearby residents of Chinatown worry that this gondola would drive gentrification and push out existing communities. In addition to the buying up of land needed for passenger stations and gondola towers, community members also fear the impact that the gondola will have on their quality of life. This project will essentially close LA State Historic Park for two years and cut down mature trees. A recent Environmental Impact Report states that this project would have significant and unavoidable impacts regarding noise and vibration in the area. It will also forever impact the way the public accesses and experiences this public land. At every instance, LA ART has failed to listen to the concerns of community privacy, safety, and costs associated with the gondola.

Beyond local environmental or economic impacts of this project, are concerns pf who will be footing the bill for this massive project. Los Angeles Metro is taking the lead on this privately funded public transportation project, posing the question that many city taxpayers have, who will fund the project? McCourt's investment firm has committed to fund $125 million, leaving taxpayers to fund the remainder of the costs of construction, maintenance, and repairs. Taxpayers don't want a gondola, taxpayers want and need affordable housing, healthcare, and public transportation! Stop the Gondola!

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