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No Sidewalks Leading To Six Flags Magic Mountain

By on 08/30/2011

California is known for its love affair with the all-mighty automobile. As you can tell from the sprawl of freeways that criss-cross the entire Los Angeles metropolitan area, people drive to get anywhere. The developers of Magic Mountain must have had this in mind back in 1970 when they started construction on the park, as there is not a single sidewalk leading to the park.

Whenever I am driving up to the park, especially close to opening time, I notice throngs of people walking up the hill to get there. I’m assuming these are people that are staying at the nearby hotels or perhaps people who were dropped off at the bottom of the hill. Unfortunately, they do not have a sidewalk to use and must either walk in the dirt, the grass, or in the street.

This first photo was taken at the intersection of The Old Road and Magic Mountain Parkway, which leads up to the entrance to the park. As you can see, the sidewalk from The Old Road wraps around the corner and then suddenly stops, leading into nothing but dirt:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Pedestrian Entrance

This is the other side of Magic Mountain Parkway, leading down the hill, away from the entrance. This side isn’t much better, but this seems to be the side that people prefer. The grass is very well worn from all the foot traffic and is just dirt in some areas:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Pedestrian Entrance

Once you get to the top of Magic Mountain Parkway, you have the option of turning around and heading back down the hill or turning right and heading through the toll booths to the parking lot. The park entrance is just to the left of the toll booths all the way at the end of these lanes. That’s a long ways and there are no sidewalks here either:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Pedestrian Entrance

If you were to continue straight on Magic Mountain Parkway, instead of turning right towards the parking toll booths, you would hit the end of the road. You can’t really see it in this photo, but the bus stop for the park is just to the right:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Pedestrian Entrance

Here is a shot of the bus stop. Oh, did I happen to mention the rattlesnake danger when walking through these parts? These are the supports for the first X2 loop, just to give you an idea of where it’s at:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Pedestrian Entrance

This shot was taken from the end of Magic Mountain Parkway at the top of the hill. All of these cars are turning off of Magic Mountain Parkway into the lanes heading towards the parking toll booths:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Pedestrian Entrance

This next shot is the exit road from the parking lot, leading away from the park. X2 is behind these palm trees on the right, the toll booth lanes we just saw are to the left, and that arrow at the end of the road is the turn onto Magic Mountain Parkway to head back down the hill. This is where most people end up walking between Magic Mountain Parkway and the entrance, as you can see by the girl in the picture. Again, no sidewalk, just dirt and even some rock barriers. When it rains, this becomes very muddy and people end up walking in the street, which is obviously very dangerous. The bus stop we saw above is just to the right of that traffic arrow, so even those who take public transportation to the park do not have an easily accessible or safe path to the front gate:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Pedestrian Entrance

An aerial view of the park entrance shows both the entrance lanes with the cars waiting to pay for parking and the exit lanes leading to the right. There is not a single sidewalk to be found anywhere leading up to the park entrance:

Six Flags Magic Mountain Pedestrian Entrance

So what does Six Flags have against pedestrians? I’m assuming that when the park was opened in 1971, there were no codes that required sidewalks to be installed. I’m also assuming the park was far enough away from everything that the thought of someone actually walking to the park was preposterous. So why haven’t they been installed since? That’s a very good question. Since Magic Mountain Parkway is public property, it would be up to the city to install sidewalks along that section. With the poor economy and financial crisis that most municipalities are facing, I don’t expect that to happen any time soon. As far as the Six Flags section is concerned, my guess is that it would cost too much money, and without being forced to do so or provide any real return on their investment, Six Flags simply won’t do it.

Another thought of mine is that Six Flags doesn’t want people walking to the park. They currently charge $15/car to park, or $50/season. Some of their parks have recently raised their daily rates to $17 and even $20! With upwards of 75% of the people paying per day, as per my conversations with multiple toll booth attendants, that’s a lot of revenue! If it were easier for people to walk to the park, they would lose out on revenue. Not saying this is true, but it does make one stop and think.

What are your thoughts? Have any of you ever walked to the park and want to share your experience?

3 Comments

  1. JJJ

    09/01/2011 at 12:39 pm

    It’s a public safety issue and it should be addressed.

    It’s also a terrible way to treat paying customers that chose not to, or cannot arrive in a car. What does it say about your business when you literally block the access to your business with rocks?

  2. Mike

    09/01/2011 at 11:19 pm

    There’s no where to park legally except on Wayne Mills for about 20 cars on only one side of the street. So parking outside the park and walking in isn’t really a option. I can see people that are staying at the Hilton or Holiday Inn Express they might walk in but if the are posting up at a hotel i bet you a nickle to a dollar that they have a car rental and will just drive to the park. Its true a lot of kids walk to Wendy’s from the park for lunch (its the highest priced Wendy’s in LA) but i think the $5 they are saving and wasting at least a hour of their time can be better spent at the park and just paying the up-sale over priced foodage. Sure it can use a sidewalk from the bus bench to main gate as lots of guests and employees use that bus route daily. The best kept secret that we used most the summer is the Santa Clarita Hometown Trolley service. Just park at the mall and hop on the Trolly and your at the park in about 10 minutes all at no charge and your dropped off closer then even SFMM tram service as your dropped in the loop for guest drop off which is about 10 feet from main gate. The trolly only runs for a couple more days (9/4) and picks up again next May. Check it out as pretty great service with 7 drop offs or pick ups each day (thursday-Sunday) and again no charge … sidewalks… we dont need no sidewalks. http://santaclaritacitybriefs.com/2011/08/12/hometown-trolley-still-running-through-september-4/

  3. Eric

    11/19/2011 at 2:22 am

    It’s all a conspiracy to discourage leaving the park to go down to Wendy’s for cheaper food… 😉

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