Streetsblog’s Annual MLB Opening Day Preview! Yankee Stadium Edition – Streetsblog New York City

What happened to the route, route, route for the home team?

The Yankees will enter their 120th season Friday afternoon in the Bronx, but the Bombers do nothing to encourage — and, in fact, discourage — fans from visiting House that Ruth Built by bike.

There are no bike racks at Yankee Stadium itself. We asked the Parks Department why, and the agency referred us to the tenant (the Yankees). “Any potential installation of bike racks would be within their purview — as the leaseholder, the Yankees are responsible for operating and maintaining the premises,” Parks Department spokesman Dan Kastanis said. . (The team did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)

A panorama of a taxpayer-funded bike-free plaza that Ruth built.  Photos: Gersh Kuntzman
A panorama of a taxpayer-funded bike-free plaza that Ruth built. Photos: Gersh Kuntzman

The team’s media guide and website don’t mention bikes at all or safe bike paths to the taxpayer-subsidized mecca of baseball (scroll down to “Transportation and Parking”). In another section of the stadium guide, the team reiterated that helmets are prohibited inside the arena, which means cyclists are either encouraged to ride without protective helmets or required to leave the expensive item outside, where it can easily be stolen. Fans have long complained about the Bronx Bombers’ disappointment, as Streetsblog and new york post office have reported.

There are also very few street poles for cyclists to affix their bikes to, and that’s painfully true at the Yankee employee entrances on Rivera Avenue; many of these employees live in the Bronx and could bike to work.

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There are bike racks in the city park across from Yankee Stadium. You can see them here:

City bike racks are in one corner.
City bike racks are in one corner.

And there is Bike racks in a car park south of the stadium (street view here). But they are not particularly visible from the street, and very few fans use them:

There are several Citi bike racks near Yankee Stadium:

citi bike near yankee stadium

There are no protected bike lanes near Yankee Stadium. The main east-west road past the building – E. 161st Street – is a car and bus fast lane that offers no safety for cyclists.

All other painted lanes near the stadium are generally double parking lanes for drivers. The city bike map is accessible herebut here’s a close-up (blue lines are painted lanes; purple lines are just shared routes, marked with sharrows):

Map: DOT

It’s odd that the team doesn’t encourage cycling to Yankee Stadium, given that a seven-mile bike ride from the Grand Central Terminal area would only take 40 minutes (and could include a nice through Central Park without a car) – although the last stretch is treacherous: cyclists trying to reach the stadium from Manhattan over the Macombs Dam Bridge are forced to cross a dangerous on-ramp to the Major Deegan Freeway :

Speeders rarely yield to this unmarked crosswalk.  Photo: Google
Speeders rarely yield to this unmarked crosswalk. Photo: Google

It’s no wonder that Google the term “Is it safe to ride a bike to Yankee Stadium?” gives a lot of negative answers.

The Yankees do offer directions for buses, subways, and commuter trains on their website, and the MTA’s 4 and D trains stop right at the right field door. (Click on here for a map of Bronx buses.)

From the Yanks Media Guide.
From the Yanks Media Guide.

A Yankee official joined MTA executives Wednesday to promote fan use of Metro-North’s E. 153rd Street station, which was very close to the old Yankee Stadium but is now a slightly longer walk. (Team manager Doug Behar spoke of the “hassle” of getting to Yankee Stadium and urged people to take the train as a “sustainable” option, but he didn’t mention the bike .)

The MTA provides an additional service, called “The Yankee Clipper”, for all evening and weekend games. Click here for more information.

The Yankees’ home opener is Friday at 1 p.m. against the Boston Red Sox at Stadium (bounded by E. 161st Street, Rivera Avenue, E. 164th Street and Jerome Avenue).

Next week: The Mets!

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