News

49er fans may seek parking in MV

Farmers Market has to move due to demand for Light Rail link

City Council members spent a considerable amount of time Tuesday night wrestling with a potentially huge parking problem in downtown Mountain View during events at the new Levi's 49er stadium in Santa Clara.

Thanks to expensive and limited parking at the stadium, city officials expect 500 to 600 drivers will be seeking parking spots in downtown Mountain View before taking light rail to the new stadium starting in August. From the light rail station downtown, the Valley Transit Authority (VTA) is going to be running 80 trains to and from the events on game days, instead of the usual 20, while making limited stops. As many as 3,400 Caltrain riders are expected to make the transfer to light rail in downtown Mountain View as well.

The new stadium holds about 68,500 people, and VTA expects to carry 10,000 people to events on buses and light rail. The first 49er game at the stadium is set for Aug. 17 and there will be a total of 17 events by April of next year.

City staff proposed that several parking lots near the downtown train, bus and light rail station be reserved for stadium goers, without the usual two-hour time limits.

"Our belief is there are a lot of unknowns," said City Manager Dan Rich. "One major concern is if we charge a substantial amount for parking in our lots it will drive a lot of those cars into the neighborhood, which we don't want to do.

But council members weren't satisfied with that approach, voting 5-1 to more actively manage the parking situation, potentially charging for parking and enforcing time limits in neighborhoods. Member John Inks voted no and Mayor Chris Clark was absent.

Council members asked city staff to come back July 1 with a plan to charge for parking and keep cars off nearby residential streets. Some said that such time limits might have to be extensive, given how far some people are willing to walk for free parking.

Council member Mike Kasperzak said the city needs to send a message early on to stadium users that "if you want to use Mountain View as event game staging, you need to pay."

"I have a little bit different take on this than staff," said Kasperzak, who led a shift away from the recommendation Rich supported. "I think Mountain View is really being put upon by the city of Santa Clara. I think this could potentially have some negative impacts on Mountain View."

Kasperzak said he thought the easiest way is to have stadium-goers use the city's new paperless online parking permit system that has been directed at downtown businesses who want their patrons or employees to be able to park longer than the two-hour time limits downtown. Others said the city needed to hire someone to stand in parking lots and take the fees. Either way, Kasperzak said parking fees should be 25 percent higher than whatever Caltrain decides to charge at its lot downtown.

City staff said it may take several months to see how stadium goers settle on preferred ways for getting to the stadium, which will be hosting other large events, like Wrestlemania, monster truck rallies and Supercross racing. "It's just going to get worse," said council member Jac Siegel.

There was some concern about stadium-goers drinking or having tailgate parties before the game in downtown. Barbecues and drinking alcohol won't be allowed, Rich noted. And while drinking is allowed on Caltrain, it won't be allowed on light rail, which will mean large bins will be provided for people to dispose of their drinks, city staff said.

There is also the significant problem of finding a new place for the Mountain View farmers market, which has been held on Sunday mornings at the Caltrain and light rail parking lot for many years. City Council members approved a plan to move the market when stadium events are in conflict on nine Sundays though April 2015. It would be held on a parking lot on Bryant Street between California and Mercy streets, where city staff say there would be plenty of parking in the Bryant Street garage and under City Hall. But it would have to be considered temporary, as the lot may be redeveloped at some point, Kasperzak said.

"It's a large animal to move. It's the second largest farmers market in the state of California," said Gail Hayden, director of the California Farmers Market Association.

Farmers Market director of operations Doug Hayden said the parking lot would be large enough for 160 stalls at the event, which usually has 170 stalls (some would be moved to the street). He told several residents who live directly behind the lot that noise complaints would be addressed immediately.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jes' Sayin'
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 18, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Sounds like a nightmare. One thing after another and Mountain View looks less and less like a nice place to live.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bored M
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 19, 2014 at 12:29 am

Love it! I can walk to the farmers market, grab food and then hop on a train to see the niners. As long as my company keeps it's luxury box, I'm all set!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Curious Observer
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 19, 2014 at 8:32 am

Curious Observer is a registered user.

The one thing that is not mentioned here is that VTA has few if any parking lots at their lightrail stations. Seems to me that VTA should be invited to help solve this problem. If they're expecting increased ridership for events at the new stadium what kind of advertising are they going to do about using their services? Are they expecting everyone who uses their services to get to a station without using a car?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 19, 2014 at 8:51 am

I am wondering why the potential traffic and parking impact Levi Stadium will have on Mountain View and it's residents is only now being discussed, in June of 2014, when the stadium has a) been under construction for years and b) is set to host it's first event on August 2nd of 2014?

It would appear that someoneS have either been asleep at the wheel - or maybe just too busy up-zoning the city and rubber-stamping new/re-development projects - to plan for the impact of this new stadium on the city of Mountain View and it's residents.

Pffffffft.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chris
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 19, 2014 at 9:57 am

Kasperzak was the only one looking at the potential problems coming up:
If we offer free parking, we will be parking central for all car commuters to VTA, spilling into downtown Mountain View residential areas.(500-600 extra cars seems very low as official estimate).
If we don't give clear instructions from the start we will let bad habits form and have a hard time with our 49 fans( and other event patrons).
Since Cal train allows drinking, we better have Porto potties at the train station, since there will be wait times switching to the VTA trolleys. Tailgating will happen, unless MV is putting up specific signs. The trash situation will be a potential issue for all neighborhoods around the train station.
It is naive to think these 49 home games are the only events causing parking problems in downtown, to make $ I see lots of new events happening in the Levi Stadium, creating a regular problem for MV.
Finding a new permanent home for the Farmers Market seems another priority, closing Castro St for 2 blocks once a week seems like a good solution, it would let the Farmers leave their trucks with them during the event, making the loading process easier. In moist cities in the world Farmers Markets are held like that. It would keep the thru traffic out of the downtown area on those days, patrons would still have the same parking areas (minus the Levi Stadium event lots).
This all seems last minute,members of the transportation committee should have been the ones contacting our City planners/Council members.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chick-fil-haay!!!
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 19, 2014 at 1:36 pm

This is going to be a total cluster, you know what. Especially when you got the Farmer's Market happening on Sunday mornings.
People will be parking out on residential streets and making a mess of things.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by NW Resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 19, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Seems like MV wants to have it ALL! 2nd largest farmers market in the state, Levi's Stadium fans using the downtown as a parking lot and maybe paronize some businesses while in town, unceasing development of every empty square foot of land left in town. At least we still have some parks and the Stevens Creek Trail.

It will also be interesting to see how Santa Clara manages the new stadium since they're still trying to find enough police officers to staff the games there. The City of Sunnyvale has also held meetings with some of their residents to talk about the impact of stadium events on their city.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by kathy
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 19, 2014 at 2:48 pm

What benefit is Mountain View getting for jumping through hoops to meet the needs of 49ers fans? I hope they charge $$$ for parking to offset cost of traffic police, disruption of Farmers Market etc. Mountain View will be a mess on game days.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Caltrain
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 19, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Much of the problem comes from Caltrain wanting to charge $25 for parking. What kind of inducement is that for using public transportation? I'd rather just park at the stadium.

And the offshoot of the Caltrain charge is that people will instead want to park in downtown. But again, if the people who advocate for public transit are true to their values, they shouldn't begrudge downtown spots to '49ers fans.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Not a Sports Fan
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2014 at 3:42 pm

I'm not a sports fan, and I'm not happy with the possiblity of destroying the best farmer's market. While I support the use of Public Transit, perhaps the emphasis should be on reducing the number of cars getting to the transit stations. Take a walk. Ride a bike.
If the VTA is encouraging riders, it should provide parking. Maybe if ALL the parking lots charged the same for parking for Game Parking, then people will make other choices. I just don't think it is fair that non-fans should be adversely impacted by the new stadium.
PS: If you are going to INSIST on us selecting a neighborhood, then you should have one for EVERYONE. There is no neighborhood for the area of MOUNTAIN VIEW that I live in.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parking for Locals Please!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 19, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Parking is already a problem here in old Mountain View, everyday commuters are parking on our street. I predict a massive nightmare on the streets during Stadium events. The city needs to be proactive and quickly come up with a solution to keep us locals from being overwhelmed by VTA riders on event and game days. We should NOT be offering free parking or change the time limits in our local lots. It is hard enough to find parking as it is on busy weekends. I would like to be able to park near my house, even better in front of my house. Perhaps it is time to issue parking permits to local residence for the residential streets here in old Mountain View, especially those of us with-in walking distance of Cal-Train and VTA. The City of Mountain View should not gain a reputation as the place to leave your car for stadium events. VTA needs to step up and provide parking venues with access to their system. Our city needs to pressure the 49ers, Santa Clara, and VTA into dealing with mess, and protect our quality of life here in Mountain View.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 19, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Jeez people. This will not end Mtn. View. New local sports arena, new shopping, new growing employers. Times change. Either anticipate it and plan accordingly (which did not happen years ago) or fail miserably. I for one am looking forward to walking down to the station and taking light rail to games. But it is true that if you charge a lot for parking you will just drive the cars out into the housing areas. It was always obvious that Mtn. View (due to the station) was going to be a major hub for the games. Should have planned for this back then. As for non-fans being impacted, that is life. Even if you don't work for Google, you are impacted by their growth. Don't go to concerts? You are still impacted by Shorline Amphitheater. Don't eat out much? You are still impacted by all the downtown restaurant traffic. Don't use the farmer's market? You are still impacted by the parking it takes away while it is there. Get over being impacted by stuff you don't use. That is community life. Nothing new about it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Robert
a resident of Slater
on Jun 19, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Robert is a registered user.

A decade or so ago, the City of Tracy was planning a huge new housing tract along the 580 corridor. This housing would be for folks working in the bay area. Alameda County saw this new juggernaut of traffic heading their way and sued to stop it. The housing plan in Tracy never developed, but the track that Alameda County took could be used here against the City of Santa Clara and the stadium. Just like Mikey in the old commercial, Mountain View will eat anything.
ps. The light rail goes through Moffett Field and you can park a lot of anything on that air strip (hint, hint)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by incognito
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 19, 2014 at 8:10 pm

As MVResident67 above says, are the powers that be at city hall just now realizing that people will want to park and ride to the stadium?

How is park and ride for 49er games different from the existing park and ride for Giants games?

Don't we want to encourage use of public transit, instead of discourage and punish public transit users by slapping them with additional fees?

And if we are talking about Sundays, um, you know, we do happen to have acres of parking in north Shoreline and Moffett, and all those nifty unmarked corporate busses that we see cruising up and down El Camino every evening. Google to the rescue! Could they not provide the parking and shuttle football fans from their parking lot to the train station?

There's plenty of huge empty parking lots in our fair city on Sundays, why not make use of them, before asking local residents for more of their money.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Andrea Gemmet
Mountain View Voice Editor
on Jun 20, 2014 at 11:19 am

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

The following comment has been moved from a duplicate thread, which has now been closed:

When this stadium was being planned, why wasn't there an Environmental Impact Report, why didn't this report identify that everyone in the county would be affected and why wasn't the entire county allowed to vote on whether it should be allowed? We just do things in the wrong and most inconsiderate way in this country.
by Jes\' Sayin\' Jun 19, 2014 at 10:15 pm


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 3:35 pm

I like the idea of enticing the parking to Moffett Field with the best parking price any where, which would make $ for MV, and help the fans to decide to use the light rail.

If we ever get the shuttles (I heard were coming) running from North of 101 up Castro Street & back, folks could still enjoy our restaurants and bars before and after the game. If the shuttles were free, everyone in town could more easily enjoy downtown without having to drive there and fight for parking.

Do not change the parking time limits in town, and be sure to make the convenience & cost to park at Moffett attract fans away from crowding the streets.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2014 at 4:49 pm

After lobbying VTA long and hard to make Mountain View the light rail terminus, the city is suddenly shocked to find there will be a negative impact.
Wow, never could have forseen that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 21, 2014 at 9:17 am

Close Castro between California and El Camino for the farmers market. For folks that drive to the market there is the parking garage at California and Franklin and below city hall. The rest of us already walk. The street closures for markets work well for Los altos, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Downtown San Jose. I'd love to see it more in town and out do the parking lot.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 21, 2014 at 9:21 am

Typo...meant "out Of the parking lot."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by incognito
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 21, 2014 at 3:05 pm

"Council member Mike Kasperzak said the city needs to send a message early on to stadium users that "if you want to use Mountain View as event game staging, you need to pay."

"I have a little bit different take on this than staff," said Kasperzak, who led a shift away from the recommendation Rich supported. "I think Mountain View is really being put upon by the city of Santa Clara. I think this could potentially have some negative impacts on Mountain View."


Rereading this article, I am still incredulous that Mike Kasperzak and the other city council members want to impose an additional fee on people who want to come to Mountain View and who want to use the light rail for its intended purpose.

Really?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by DC
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 22, 2014 at 9:21 am

Parking is a problem already for lunch dinner and now weekends.
Parking is also restricted to 2 hours without a permit.
There are other places to park and ride in on VTA that are more accessible (closer) Moffet would be ideal if there were actual parking spaces TSA will not like it if we tear down the security fence? . The Cal Train transfer would be best serve with a shuttle bus as VTA LT rail hold only 1/50 the Cal Train will supply


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike Laursen
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Mike Laursen is a registered user.

Seems unlikely to me that it will be a problem.

Anybody who has ridden the light trail out to Santa Clara knows that it is a slow, slow way to get anywhere. Anybody who can afford Niners tickets will be able to afford paid parking, and anybody who is a football fan is not going to be thrilled by a boring ride on a slow tram.

Hopefully, out restaurants will get pre or post-game diners, since we have a much better dining district than Santa Clara.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 22, 2014 at 7:29 pm

I don't think we should try to provide parking on 49s stadium days, Mountain View is much more than a parking lot for sports fans. We need 2 hour parking time limits during stadium events. We want people who think of Mountain View as a destination and not a parking lot.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hugh Jardonn
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 22, 2014 at 7:58 pm

But yet VTA, instead of improving park and ride opportunities out of downtown, is recommending the permanent closure of the Evelyn Light Rail Station beginning in early 2015.

Web Link

This will put more pressure on downtown parking.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 22, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Closing the Evelyn light rail station is not a big deal. There are two stops within a 10 minute walk.
Adding the second track is critical for system reliability and speed. Without those, ridership will go down and traffic will increase.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Visitor
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 23, 2014 at 9:35 am

@Parking for Locals Please!
"I would like to be able to park near my house, even better in front of my house. Perhaps it is time to issue parking permits to local residence for the residential streets here in old Mountain View"
Really? Please, park in your garage and do not try to privatize the public street.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hugh Jardonn
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 23, 2014 at 1:55 pm

The reason closing Evelyn is a big deal ties into the point of this article which is that parking is going to be tight in Downtown. Evelyn has a park and ride lot that could take some of the pressure.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 23, 2014 at 2:03 pm

What would the plans for the lot be? Would it be closed? If it remains open, then it people could park there and take the short walk to either the Whisman or Castro station.

The Caltrain station lot fills every day with commuters and everyone else parks in the neighborhood. Whether the evelyn parking lot remains open or closed, the parking lot at Caltrain station is large, but it could accommodate so many more cars with a parking garage. Why isn't one being built there? It's such an inefficient use of space.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hugh Jardonn
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm

I do not know if VTA plans to close Evelyn park and ride, but without light rail stopping there I don't see why they'd keep it. And try walking to another stop from Evelyn; downtown's far enough away that it would discourage all but the most athletic and Whisman is inaccessible due to Central Expressway.

If the problem is lack of parking downtown, closing Evelynn would make things worse.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by kendall
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 23, 2014 at 10:52 pm

resident 67 said it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Caltrain
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jun 23, 2014 at 11:25 pm

The 49'ers play 10 home games this fall. Eight will be on Sundays (1 is on a Saturday; 1 is on a Thursday night). There's ample parking in Mtn View on Sundays (and Saturday during the day). And as Mike L. said, maybe people hang around and spend $ in downtown.

Perhaps reserve some timed spaces for Farmer's Market folks, but otherwise why not see how this goes in year 1 before potentially overreacting?

PS - As I noted earlier, if Caltrain wouldn't gouge with $25 parking, most would be content to just park in that lot.


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