Uploaded: Mon, Aug 18, 2014, 6:17 pm
First 49er game a test for new downtown parking program
While the new Levi's stadium was nearly filled to capacity for its first 49er game there on Sunday, football fans who used the Mountain View transit center were met with new parking fees and for some, parking tickets.
Last month City Council members voted to spend $85,000 on a stadium day parking program for one year, expecting 500 to 600 drivers to seek parking in downtown Mountain View and take buses and light rail trains to the stadium in order to avoid parking near the stadium that costs as much as $50.
City officials said 123 drivers paid $10 to park in the three downtown parking lots -- and a garage -- that were designated for $10 parking beyond the usual three-hour time limit. One of the lots, at Dana and Hope streets, was nearly vacant. The transit center's parking lot, where VTA charged drivers $5 to park, appeared to still have 20 percent of its spaces free around 12:30 (the game began at 1 p.m.).
Meanwhile, police were busy enforcing new three-hour time limits that apply on game days in nearby residential areas, where many cars were seen parked. Police say they issued a total of 36 tickets for time limit violations. That is up from 32 during an Aug. 2 soccer game at the stadium, which also spurred 96 drivers to pay for parking in city lots.
"I think the initial observation is that the paid parking system worked fine," said council member Mike Kasperzak, who initially called for the parking program to prevent the downtown from becoming a free parking lot for Levi's stadium. "This was a pre-season game. We have no idea, during the course of the season, what the parking demand will be, or if people (who) drove to the game yesterday will decide, 'I want to do public transportation.'"
VTA reports that 3,310 people left Mountain View on VTA buses and trollies to get to the game, said Colleen Valles, VTA spokesperson. And about 1,500 people used Caltrain to get to those buses and trollies, said Caltrain spokesperson Jayme Ackemann. It is unclear how many of the other 1,810 stadium-goers arrived in cars parked in Mountain View. The city has yet to release any numbers.
For the thousands of fans who descended on the downtown Mountain View transit center on their way to the game, things appeared to go smoothly. Initial reports from police were that it was "uneventful" in terms of problems. About 50 police officers employed by the county, city and transit agencies were seen around the downtown transit station helping to manage the crowd.
Fliers posted by the VTA alerted drivers that the $10 fee charged for parking in the transit station lot on game days will soon be raised to $25. Under the new parking ordinance, the city will match that $25 fee for parking in the city's designated lots.
There were reportedly 68,000 people at Sunday's game, nearly the limit of the stadium's 68,983-person capacity. The first event at the stadium, an Aug. 5 soccer game, drew 48,765 people.
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 21, 2014 at 9:00 am
Jim Neal is a registered user.
I can't understand why anyone would complain about the new parking program. It's so simple:
Q: What is the "Stadium event day residential parking pilot program"?
A: On July 1, the City Council asked Staff to implement a program for the
first Levi's Stadium season (through May 2015) that would, among other
things, restrict parking to "local" vehicles on most Old Mountain View
streets on "event days". Caltrain was talking about charging up to $25 to
park in their lot, on these days, and Council wanted to charge $10-$25 to
park in any of several City lots near the Transit Center. There was a
consensus that this would incentivize people driving to Mountain View, to
board the light rail to the stadium, to park on residential streets,
rather than closer to the station. Therefore Staff specified that most
Old Mountain View households (in houses and small apartment complexes)
would be provided with two free parking permits (and more upon evidence of
need), to give residents an exemption to the three-hour parking limit that
would go into effect on all of these streets on event days. There is a
separate permit program for businesses. Please read on for the fine points
but that's the basic summary.
Q: What is an "event day"? As Levi's Stadium announces additional events,
how will we know what day the parking restrictions are in effect?
A: The City now has a list of "event days" on its "stadium event day
parking" page, at
As of August 20, these are the same days as the ones in the pilot program
guidelines (also available from that page, and in the mailing sent on July
24 with parking permits), and identical to what's posted on the "3 hours"
August 2, 17, 24
September 14, 28
October 5, 24
November 2, 23, 27
December 5, 20, 28, 30
April 11, 18
The City website will be updated as needed, and we will announce changes
immediately on OMVNAtalk. Street signs will also be updated (we don't know
The website previously pointed to the Levi's Stadium event calendar, which
might occasionally have events on it that will not be triggers for
features of the parking pilot program plan (four paid City lots,
three-hour parking restrictions on streets, etc.). In other words, the
list on the City website is the list you should be looking at.
Q: How long is this going to go on?
A: The pilot program was authorized by City Council to run through May
2015. We don't know what will happen after that, since an evaluation and
decision cannot be made until there's information about how the pilot
program worked. We do know that the stadium has announced its intention to
schedule as many weekday events as possible, starting soon, so it is
possible that adjustments to the program might have to be made even before
Q: I live in the designated area (west of Calderon, east of Shoreline,
north of El Camino Real, and south of Evelynand an area north of Central
Expressway is also included) and have not received any parking permits in
the mail. What should I do?
A: You will only need these permits if you need to park on the street or
if you have guests who need to use your permits to park on the street, on
event days, for more than three hours. If you think you will need them,
you can obtain two permits from Joanne Francis in the Community
Development Department, first floor of City Hall (straight ahead as you
enter the building), between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. You will need
proof of residential address, such as a utility bill or rental agreement.
Q: I can't get to City Hall during their business hours. May I appoint
someone to be a proxy and pick up my permits?
A: Yes, you may use a proxy. Your proxy should follow the directions just
above. You will need to authorize your proxy in writing, or by sending
email in advance to email@example.com; cc the proxy in your
Q: If I obtained "replacement" permits for ones that did not arrive in the
mail in a timely way, and later received the original mailing, do I need
to return the extra permits?
A: Staff says "yes".
Q: I need to park more than two vehicles on the street during event days.
How can I get extra permits?
A: You can get extra permits from the Finance Department, second floor of
City Hall, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. You will need to show the
registrations of all vehicles registered to your address. It will not be
possible to obtain permits for guests who do not live at your address.
Before you visit City Hall, please also fill out the application form
Q: What is the maximum number of permits that I can get?
A: There is no set maximum for the pilot program; you will just need to
follow the steps immediately above.
Q: The guidelines that came with my permits said to hang them from the
rear view mirror of my vehicle. I need to park an open convertible
/trailer/motorcycle on the street. What should I do to display the permit
and keep it secure?
A: Each vehicle that requires a license plate needs a permit for on-street
parking, so the most attractive option is to find an off-street parking
place for these types of vehicles. If you cannot do that, one option is to
affix a note securely to the vehicle, where parking enforcement personnel
can see it easily, and refer them to the vehicle's actual permit,
displayed securely and easily visible in another vehicle. (For example, in
a car or pickup that tows a trailer.) Give the license plate number of the
Q: I'm expecting a lot of guests, in cars, for Thanksgiving. How can they
park, since this is an event day?
A: Staff expects that you will first use up all available parking in your
garage and driveway, so that your parking permits are available to loan to
your guests. You might also be able to find neighbors with extra driveway
space. If you still need more permits, in addition to any above the first
two that you obtained from the City, you are expected to borrow more from
neighbors who do not need them that day. It is likely that some neighbors
will be driving elsewhere to celebrate the holiday, just as you are
welcoming visitors in Mountain View, and you can borrow their permits
before they leave. Some residents do not need on-street parking at all,
but still received two permits in the mail.
Q: Can I really not get "guest permits" for caregivers and other
frequently-visiting service providers?
A: That is stated in the official guidelines for the program. Please see
the first couple sentences just above for some suggestions on how to deal
with it. If you still find that you have a problem that it is physically
impossible for you to solve, please get in touch with City Staff (see
below for new contact info).
Q: Are the three-hour parking limits being enforced?
A: We have been told that they are.
Q: It's too much trouble for me to keep track of all these dates and
remember to display a permit. I'm afraid I'll forget and get a ticket.
What should I do?
A: The easiest solution is to make a habit of displaying a permit in any
vehicle parked on the street (place the hang-tag on the rear view mirror
with the printed side facing the front of the car), whether or not it's an
event day. That way you don't ever have to keep track of the dates. (See
above regarding vehicles for which this display is not possible.)
Q How can I contest a parking ticket?
A: Staff has referred us to
and to other information on MVPD web pages, regarding parking and
Q: There are "no parking any time" signs on my block. There is also one of
the "3-hour" signs. What's the story?
A: "No parking" takes precedence.
Q: Will the hang-tags be replaced by stickers, at least for residents?
A: There have been a lot of requests to do this. It is possible that the
City will do it after the pilot program is over, but we don't know. The
main reason we have hang-tags for the pilot program is that the whole
thing had to be put together in a matter of days, and that was the easiest
solution for staff to implement quickly. In the future, they will have
more lead-time. One advantage of hang-tags is that they can be loaned to
Q: I have heard that there are different parking restrictions on the
various public lots downtown.
A: All public lots, and garages, will be subject to a three-hour event-day
parking limit, as on streets, unless they are paid lots--but not
necessarily for the same hours. On weekdays, the restriction in city lots
runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., unless it's a holiday. On weekends and
holidays, the restriction runs from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., just as on streets.
Exception: There is a one-hour restriction on parking on both sides of
Castro Street, from Evelyn to El Camino Real, on all event days, 8 a.m. to
Q. What are "paid lots"?
A: Downtown lots 1 (the more northerly parking garage, on Bryant St. near
Evelyn), 4 and 8 (on either side of Hope St. in the 100 block), and 9
(enter on Hope St., in the 200 block; entrances to the lot that are east
and south of there will be closed) will charge at least $10 for all-day
parking on event days,
Q: What's this about the Farmers' Market moving?
A: The Farmers' Market will move temporarily from the Caltrain parking lot
north of Evelyn to the City parking lot at Bryant and California on 49ers
home game days:
August 17, 24
September 14, 28
November 2, 23
Parking for Farmers' Market shoppers will be provided explicitly in the
"CVS Parking Structure" and in one of the City lots. Most of the other
City lots will also be available. Vendors will also be provided for. The
market organization will put up signs at the Transit Center and elsewhere
directing people to the right location.
Q: How can I provide feedback to the City on this program, or get answers
to other questions?
A: Here are the feedback methods just advertised on the City website:
* submit to Ask Mountain View (topic is under Economic Development);
* leave a message at (650) 316-4520; or
* send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Parking Subcommittee might know things they have forgotten to include
above, so asking them first might be useful. You can send email to
email@example.com to receive a response, probably from a
neighbor who lives near you.