Traffic, Parking, Neighborhoods, and Noise PDF Print E-mail

North Side Community Meetings with SC Police Dept. on parking and traffic:


The City will not provide the level of parking protection which was promised to north side neighborhoods.

From the TMOP:

Parking and traffic problems are so severe that there will not be weeknight NFL games:

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Lack-of-parking-will-block-in-49ers-on-weeknight-5047223.php

The 2009 Traffic Management and Operations Plan (Appendix I of the EIR) and our City Council touted 41,000 parking spaces within a 20 minute walk of the stadium. Most of this parking depended on private parking lot owners signing up to allow stadium patrons to park in their lots.  Well, it's 2013 and the revised TMOP shows that SCPF's prediction was correct: Many private parking lot owners did not sign up their lots for stadium patron parking.  Here are the 2009 and 2013 TMOP parking maps.

2009 Map, with the number of parking spaces shown on each lot:

 

2013 Map: Parking lots outlined in red are prohibited for use during stadium events.  Note that the City needed to seek parking outbound of the 20 minute walking area.

2009 Map adjusted for 2013 numbers. Note that most of the parking lots shown in the 2009 map cannot be used for stadium parking, a few lots have fewer spaces than promised in 2009, and some spots will be used for employee parking:

The stadium is 14 acres on a 17-acre site, with parking for only 13% of fans.

The 49ers/Raiders stadium will have 20 NFL games, one per week from mid-August through the end of December, with both the 49ers and the Raiders playing in Santa Clara.

 

Listen to a Santa Clara Resident on youtube at the May 11, 2010 City Council meeting describe how bad game days will be because of police checkpoints and road closures.

What happens on NFL game days when 68,500 people descend on Santa Clara without a centralized parking location or direct freeway access to the stadium?

  • 22,000 cars with 68,000 fans searching for parking

  • 160 Police officers

  • 31 Police checkpoints

  • 17 gridlocked intersections with 101 and 237 backed up

  • 101 and 237 backed up

  • 4 roads closed

  • Neighborhoods cordoned off, residents have to show i.d.

  • Tons of tailgating trash and noise

At the May 11, 2010 City Council meeting, a SC resident who lives on Agnew expressed concern about how the stadium will affect him and his family:

1. Agnew Street is a major artery for Rivermark residents getting to the 101 and the Mercado area. That will be greatly impacted on any game day.
2. Agnew Street is a major artery for emergency vehicles moving east or west from one of two fire stations at either end of Agnew. It seems on any given Sunday there are 4 - 6 emergency calls. Movement of these vehicles will be impeded by street closures and other activities.
3. A small, but significant park is directly across from my house. It is heavily used on weekends. This last weekend there were a hundred or more guests at a celebration. On game days none of this could go on because of road closures.
4. While Lafayette Street will have significant police presence to make sure game-goers do not park on local streets, there are no restrictions on Bassett Street which extends parallel with Lafayette from Laurelwood Road to Agnew. It will take 30 seconds for game-goers to get around the police barriers. Such a simple problem should have been detected during your extensive examinations. It makes me wonder what else you have missed.
5. How do friends, family, and other visitors gain access to my house for a Sunday get-together on game days?
6. Due to lack of adequate, near-stadium parking, the San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail is a major, significant city asset built with taxpayer dollars both locally and federally. I use the trail a lot as a safe means of bicycling, especially on weekends. Now, for 20 to 40 Sundays a year, this trail will be impassable for most of the day. (Up to 4 hours before the game, during the game, and a couple of hours after the game.) 7. Based on your parking diagrams, up to 11,500 people will be directed to use the San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail from Agnew Street to the stadium to get to and from the game. This will effectively shut down the trail for other users.
8. Based on your analyses, there could be up to 20-25 major NFL games a year at the stadium (SF and Oakland), at least 2 major college football games, 15 other significant events, and 250 minor events. If true, the San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail will effectively be unusable by local residents every weekend during the year.
9. Getting home from work (on the 101 from the Palo Alto area) will be nearly impossible on nights when there is a game. I have been stuck in traffic nearly 2 hours trying to get to a concert at Shoreline. We exit at the Great America exit, but that will be impassible on game days.
10. Finally, as an affected resident, I feel that I will be trapped in a prison, unable to escape unless I get permission from the police to go home from the grocery store or anywhere else on any given game day. This will prove to be a huge disincentive to local residents.


Watch a video from a debate at Peterson Middle school as CM Will Kennedy and SCEP spokesman Pat Kolstad talk about how bad the traffic will be.


Santa Clara residents near the proposed stadium site are worried. They've sent emails to the City Council stating:

  • "I am concerned that the Stadium will make game days for us a living hell. Noise, people, parking in our neighborhood, litter, crime, etc. Most game days are on Sunday and I do not want to be held hostage in my home on weekends because of all of the traffic and congestion that will be created by the 68,000 fans attending the games."
  • "Property values will decrease in areas near any stadium, not to mention the noise pollution, environmental pollution, not to mention the decrease in the quality of life in our neighborhood -- the sound of construction going on for the next few years as well."

From a Santa Clara resident who lives near the proposed stadium site (in the SC Weekly):

  • "Traffic on all the through streets surrounding this neighborhood will be congested before and after stadium events. These traffic jams will imprison us, preventing us from doing normal weekend activities such as shopping visiting friends, and going to the movies. Police screening will not prevent some of this traffic from cruising our streets."


Traffic Problems

  • Unlike Candlestick or the Oakland Coliseum, the Santa Clara site is not right off of a freeway.
  • Santa Clara has often lengthy surface street connections between freeways 101, 237, 880, and 280 and the stadium site.
  • It is estimated that there will be 20,000+ cars.
  • Traffic will cause 'significant impacts' on up to 17 freeway segments for weekday evening events at the stadium ( the EIR says 'significant unavoidable impact'). 
  • From a northside resident as quoted from the SC Weekly, "The Santa Clara section of 101 will become a virtual parking lot on game and event days."
  • Our surface streets and freeway exits were not designed to handle 68,500 people arriving/leaving within a few hours.
  • The Draft EIR Main Report (Section 4.8.5, starting on page 203) states that traffic on 17 intersections will be degraded to the two worse Levels-of-Service (LOS) on game days (i.e. gridlocked).
  • Intersections in Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, San Jose, and Milpitas will deal with gridlocked traffic on NFL game days (a 'significant unavoidable impact').
  • The EIR describes possible improvements to these intersections, but notes that improvements will not be made: “The project does not, therefore, propose to implement any of the physical improvements described," (page 204).
  • On game days, Santa Clarans on the north side will have difficulty with their normal Sunday routines, such as going to/from church, shopping, or running errands, and having friends/relatives visit.
  • Just try getting in/out of the north side of Santa Clara when 68,000 people are coming here for a game or leaving our city after a game.

Source:

Environmental Impact Report Appendix H - Traffic/Parking.

http://santaclaraca.gov/ftp/csc/pdf/49er-stadium-DEIR/AppendixH.pdf

Environmental Impact Report - Main Text

http://santaclaraca.gov/ftp/csc/pdf/49er-stadium-DEIR/49er-Stadium-DEIR-Text.pdf


Road Closures

  • Tasman Drive, a major thoroughfare that links Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, and Milpitas, will be closed near the stadium on NFL game days.
  • Residents in 95054 will be impacted not only by the closure of Tasman Drive, but by the closure of Agnews Road, and the seven checkpoints on Lafayette Street.
  • The closure of roads on NFL game days proves that there are serious problems with the site's ability to handle 68,500 fans descending on the stadium area.

Page 186 of the EIR, Figure 61, shows the road closures and intersection control.

Source:

Environmental Impact Report Appendix H - Traffic/Parking.

http://santaclaraca.gov/ftp/csc/pdf/49er-stadium-DEIR/AppendixH.pdf

Environmental Impact Report - Main Text

http://santaclaraca.gov/ftp/csc/pdf/49er-stadium-DEIR/49er-Stadium-DEIR-Text.pdf


Parking Problems

  • The stadium site only provides for 13% of the necessary parking.
  • The plan is to get surrounding businesses to sign up to allow fans to park in their business lots.
  • After 3 years of stadium studies, there are no contracts in place with surrounding businesses to use their parking lots.
  • There are no guarantees that a parking plan dependent upon the owners of private businesses will work for the first year, let alone for 40-60 years.
  • In order to show Weeknight games at a reasonable hour for East Coast fans, NFL games will have to start by 5:30 pm.  To provide parking for NFL fans, Santa Clara businesses participating in parking arrangements on game days will have to send their employees home starting at 3.  Appendix H of the EIR states, "It is assumed that the adjacent office buildings will be vacant on Sundays, but the use of their parking lots by stadium attendees during weekday games will require that the offices be vacated prior to the arrival of stadium attendees."
  • How many Santa Clara businesses will want to close early just for football games?  How will employers make up for lost productivity and the salaries of workers sent home early?
  • For these reasons, the NFL has doubts that Santa Clara will be able to host weeknight football games, as noted in a SF Chronicle article, "weeknight games might be a thing of the past if the 49ers move to Santa Clara," and, 'The EIR said the 49ers indicated that they would "inform the NFL they will forgo weeknight games on their schedule" for any season in which they could not secure enough parking spaces.'


Source:

Environmental Impact Report Appendix H - Traffic/Parking.

http://santaclaraca.gov/ftp/csc/pdf/49er-stadium-DEIR/AppendixH.pdf

Environmental Impact Report - Main Text

http://santaclaraca.gov/ftp/csc/pdf/49er-stadium-DEIR/49er-Stadium-DEIR-Text.pdf

Link: San Francisco Chronicle article:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/12/10/EDSC1B1L2F.DTL

 

 

Neighborhoods near Stadium Cordoned off

  • Residential neighborhoods around the stadium will be cordoned off and residents will have to show identification to get to their homes.
  • There will be 31 police checkpoints.
  • Getting in and out of neighborhoods near the stadium will mean going through police checkpoints.  Appendix H of the EIR states that, "An officer will be positioned along with barricades at each of the access points to the neighborhoods."
  • How can residents have friends/family visit on game days, go shopping, go to/from church, and run errands?  This represents a loss of use of residents' property, and a shattering of the peaceful weekends Santa Clarans now enjoy.

49ers stadium proposal (figure of cordoned off residential areas  and 'protected zones'):

http://santaclaraca.gov/ftp/csc/pdf/49ers-20070424-stadium-proposal.pdf


Noise

  • Stadium construction will cause significant noise impacts Monday-Saturday for approximately 28 months. 'Adjacent industrial, commercial, and residential land uses would continue to be subject to construction noise levels that substantially exceed ambient median and background noise levels for over two years.'   The noise impacts are 'significant and unavoidable'.
  • Relocation of electrical equipment from the Tasman substation to the west end of the Silicon Valley Power Northern Receiving Station will result in a significant noise impact.  "Noise generated by equipment moved adjacent to residential land uses south of the stadium may exceed Municipal Code noise standards or ambient noise levels, and may result in a substantial permanent increase in background noise levels."
  • Noise from stadium events is considered a 'significant impact'. Noise impacts to residential neighborhoods near the stadium will be high, estimated at 65 decibels from the screaming of fans during NFL games.
  • There will also be noise impacts from tailgating-radios/stereos, televisions, portable power generators, as well as talking and shouting.  Maximum noise levels generated by tailgating and post-game activities range from 65 to 75 decibels, and reach 85 to 89 decibels.
  • "The fairly-steady noise generated by tailgating and post-game activities would substantially exceed typical background noise levels by 15 to 21 decibels."
  • A 'significant unavoidable impact' in the EIR, Section 8, pg. 340 states: "There will be a substantial increase in ambient noise levels during large stadium events, which are likely to occur up to 46 times per year."
  • And Santa Clarans who live near the proposed stadium site have written in to the SC Weekly to say:
  • "This neighborhood will be negatively impacted by the noise, traffic, and trash pollution that stadium events will produce."
  • "This neighborhood is already plagued with noise from low-flying jetliners from the airport, loudspeakers and fireworks from Great America, and passing freight trains. The north wind carries these sounds over the entire neighborhood.  Adding stadium noise to the mix will make outdoor life intolerable, spoiling activities such as trying to talk with a neighbor or having a BBQ with friends."

Source:

Environmental Impact Report Appendix K - Noise

http://santaclaraca.gov/ftp/csc/pdf/49er-stadium-DEIR/AppendixK.pdf


Pollution

  • Stadium construction 'will generate regional air pollutants in excess of established thresholds' (EIR, Section 8.0 'Significant Unavoidable Impacts').
  • Tailgating will generate tons of trash, and because of the lack of on-site parking, there will be trash in off-site parking lots and neighborhoods.
  • From a Santa Clara who lives near the stadium (in the SC Weekly):
  • "The San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail passes right alongisde the stadium site.  The bridge that connects the parking areas with the stadium site crosses over the creek.  Event goers will throw garbage in the creek and disturb plant and wildlife, and they will block locals from using the recreation trail."


Loss of use of Surrounding Facilities.

  • The City has not yet considered the effects of a loss of use of surrounding city facilities on NFL game days and for other large events.
  • Because of street closures, access to the Youth Soccer Park and the Santa Clara Golf and Tennis club will be closed off on game days.
  • The fall Youth Soccer season directly overlaps the NFL season.  A couple thousand kids in Santa Clara play soccer each fall-the Soccer Park was built with city funds, and we will lose many weekend days of use of that facility.
  • In addition, with construction occurring Monday through Saturday right across the street from the soccer park, and the EIR estimates extremely loud construction noise, we may not be able to use the soccer park on Saturdays during construction either, due to noise and air pollutants.
  • Fans can park farther from the stadium in residential neighborhoods and use the walking/bike path to get to the stadium to avoid paying for parking, blocking locals enjoyment of the trail.
  • How many conventions will want to book our Convention Center on NFL game weekends, when convention patrons will have to battle traffic and parking problems to attend?  Conventions book years in advance, much earlier than the NFL announces its schedule. How many conventions will simply book elsewhere, rather than risk overlapping with a game weekend?
  • Great America will have to close on game days.  Great America's operators are currently suing Santa Clara because of the stadium project and the Environmental Impact Report. (See the 'Great America Lawsuits' page).

Areal map showing facilities surrounding the proposed stadium site is from the Term Sheet Exhibit 2.

http://santaclaraca.gov/ftp/csc/pdf/49ers-20090601-Exhibit-2.pdf

 

 
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