Town Square

Concert traffic creates controversy in North Bayshore

Original post made on Jul 26, 2016

The fact that rush-hour traffic around North Bayshore has long been regarded as a nightmare is not news, but the situation has reportedly gone from bad to worse in recent weeks, due to heavily attended concerts at Shoreline Amphitheatre.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 3:09 PM


Posted by AnonSV
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 26, 2016 at 4:27 pm

I live in Santiago Villa and blocking off La Avenida is one of the dumbest things I've seen done around the area to control concert traffic. Now instead of having a straight pass to the freeway, we have to go around through Pear St that is a single lane where most people are turning left.

How does blocking off 1/4 a mile of La Avenida helping any traffic move through off the 101 Shoreline Exit or tech employees at Google and Microsoft? It's literally a one way street up to that point where you can veer off to Pear St from La Avenida literally just to get to 101.

Please stop trying these traffic pilot programs. It was already broke, don't break it any more with street closures.

Posted by Feel the Bern
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2016 at 8:08 pm

The pilot program is a complete disaster. Tried to go to a movie at the Shorline Cineplex theaters and it took 45 minutes to get from the 101 off ramp to Shoreline Ave. These idiots closing off the road in front of the Computer History Museum are the source of the problem! It is complete and total gridlock!

Posted by reside
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Jul 26, 2016 at 8:21 pm

Those weekday's concert don't only impact the commuters or residents of the mobile home park in North Bayshore. I remember trying to get home via 880/237 last year. Yes there is the 'Lexus' lane, cost was $8.00 for maybe half a mile when the traffic stopped. It took us 2 hours to make it home. Middlefield Road was a parking lot from the 237 off ramps as far as we could see. And nothing has changed, concert goers still feel entitled, honking through the neighborhoods, blocking intersections. I can not believe someone wants to build housing in North Bayshore with the traffic mess during concerts, and that's besides the commuter traffic.

Posted by Juan
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jul 26, 2016 at 8:54 pm

The city should sign a 50 year lease to Google for the land the Amphitheater sits on, with the yearly lease price equal to the current revenue the city gets from running events (adjusted for inflation each year). There's zero benefit to the city and residents to continue running the Amphitheater. And now the city is going to add 20,000 more apartments next door? Just bulldoze it already.

Posted by Closing???
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jul 26, 2016 at 9:37 pm

Isn't there a second driveway to the Sports Page and if patrons were going to really make their way there wouldn't they just turn on Plymouth or park behind the place in the theater parking lot. Not much of an argument. 50% lose of business? That's like three patrons on a happy hour there....dive bar.

Oh yes, "The Sports Page site at 1431 Plymouth St. would be razed to make way for a hotel, according to a letter submitted to the city planning department. The addition “keeps with our objective to develop a true mixed-use destination and valuable community-wide asset,” a spokesman told me in an email."

I would rather see the city worry about the major 22,000 patrons trying to get to a concert versus less than half trying to leave a handful of businesses on La Avenida.

Posted by amelia
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 27, 2016 at 5:44 am

er... VTA Train needs to go here. It's insane that it doesn't already.

Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2016 at 9:29 am

Here in Palo Alto we get problems with the concert traffic. The biggest problem is that if we had been told in advance there was a concert, then we could plan accordingly, change our route, or the time we want to travel. It shouldn't be up to us to check and see if there is a concert before we leave the house or work.

PAPD do a good job on Twitter and other social media forewarning us when there is something at the Stanford stadium that will affect traffic. Perhaps MTV pd do the same, but it would be good if there was a special Twitter feed that would do all traffic problems in the MV/PA area due to foreseen problems such as concerts, football games, etc. They could even use it for unforeseen problems due to accidents! WAZE is great, but doesn't help once you are on your way. A daily tweet at 10.00 am with potential problems in the area would be a great asset.

Please, somebody.

Posted by Re: PA resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2016 at 10:54 am

MVPD puts out community-advisory bulletins via social media, Twitter, and Nixle. Short of a wider regional traffic notice service (which I agree is a constructive suggestion), you can obtain info directly from MVOPD.

Here's their blog page with further info: Web Link

Posted by parent
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 27, 2016 at 11:35 am

We agree that these concerts (and predicted traffic jams) need to be advertised to the general community so people with flexible schedules can make alternative plans. Didn't the MV police used to do this?

Also, is it possible to schedule the concerts earlier or later so they don't interfere with the evening rush hour so much?

Posted by Re: Re: PA resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 27, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Re: Re: PA resident - the last advisory bulletin by MVPD on Nixle was in mid-June. I don't see any concert traffic advisories on their blog.

Posted by @Juan
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 27, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Totally disagree that there's no benefit to residents.

I love that we have some great concerts close to us in MV and I adore the outdoor atmosphere and vibe at the many Shoreline shows I've been to with friends and family. There are decent discounts to be had through the resident program, too.

But here's the thing-- I never, ever, ever drive. It's an easy and scenic bike ride through Shoreline and I've never had a problem, even biking home late at night with kids in tow. If more people would bike or walk the whole thing would work so much better.

Posted by John
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 27, 2016 at 2:40 pm

The VTA only adds to the traffic with their empty buses. When folks spend $hundreds of dollars for their tickets to a Shoreline concert, the last thing on their mind is taking a public bus to the concert. Smart people park on the other side of 101 (or get dropped off) and walk across. VTA is not the solution, it's a huge drain on public resources costing $millions per year that could be better spent on other social services (those residents with disabilities or mental illness). Autonomous vehicles are the future (Lyft and Uber in the mean time). Walking a few blocks doesn't hurt either. Traffic calming and empty humongous VTA buses make no sense. "If it don't make dollars, it don't make cents"

Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 27, 2016 at 3:26 pm

@"@Juan": I also like Shoreline, but biking there does not fix anything being complained about here. The number of locals attending a given event is tiny compared to the overall crowd. So if everyone close enough and able enough to walk or bike did that, the area would STILL be just as impacted by traffic. They need to run transit, and they need to improve the ingress/egress options for cars (which will take new road options).

Posted by Shirley
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 27, 2016 at 4:10 pm

I can't imagine what would happen after they closed off Castro to thru traffic and the only way for me to get on to 101 is Shoreline, not looking forward to it.

Posted by Christina
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 27, 2016 at 5:08 pm


I agree that VTA buses are not a solution, but, as @amelia stated, a VTA ***TRAIN*** line would be so wonderful. Many of the employees who work north of 101 take buses or drive because there's no fast way to get from VTA/Caltrain into the office parks north of 101. If there were a train serving that area, the decreased traffic from normal people's daily commute would make the addition of concertgoers less painful.

Posted by I_got_mine
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 27, 2016 at 7:37 pm

A note: RTD LIGHT RAIL stops at several theater venues in downtown Denver. They also run " Bronco Buses, the newest line runs from over the Rockies to Denver. The buses are full and RTD Light Rail is full with the PARKING LOT at Mile High having cones put out for the buses to park to pick up and unload passengers. The LIGHT RAIL stop is not far away.
What I'm seeing is an example of VTA mismanagement. a WYE spur at the Moffett Field turn right to GOING NORTH to Shoreline Park should be implemented ASAP to solve this NON PROBLEM if someone with some BRAINS had been at VTA BEFORE this problem was created. Heck even BART has a stop to the Oakland Entertainment Complex when I saw " A Day on the Green " concert. No, I never saw the Oakland Traitors play...

So the MVCC should wear traffic cones for dunce caps concerning this problem and fixing this latest issue they let happen. If BART HAD BEEN BUILT OUT PROPERLY, WE WOULD NOT AVE THIS HAPPEN. SHUTTLE BUSES TO A BART STATION WOULD REMOVE MANY CARS. THAT IS WHAT I PAID FOR. Not something we pay for called CalTrain. Maybe you need a visit from the Directors of RTD to show you how mass transit to move people is done. Yes, we have our problems created when the BNSF was sold to Buffet and the handshake deals to use ROW disappeared but a workaround is being created as we speak.
I'm glad I'm watching so many non problems the MVCC as created... The answer is " Follow YOUR money " You are not getting your money's worth.

Posted by Re: PA resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2016 at 10:57 pm

To "Re: Re: PA resident" and the people (or person) who "Liked" that post several times: Within minutes of my previous comment, MVPD had already sent a bulletin about a local emergency, with advice to avoid the location if driving. This was on local social media, automatic to people who'd opted for email notices.

MVPD constantly issues electronic advisories (sometimes several per day) about traffic or safety hazards, including Shoreline concerts (often advance advisories, with schedules and traffic routing details, for upcoming busy weekends). Its website offers some links, but if necessary (and you actually want such information), you could always phone or email MVPD for advice on how to get it most efficiently. Much more constructive and to-the-point than grousing about Nixle or any other particular service that they tried and (evidently) found little interest in response.

MVPD deserves real credit for reaching out to the community, even if the efforts are never fully appreciated.

Posted by Bart is Over Loaded
a resident of another community
on Jul 28, 2016 at 12:02 am

Bart is at capacity and could not serve Mountain View well even if there were tracks laid through the highly congested territory between San Jose and South San Francisco.

Meanwhile, Cal Train does a wonderful job and has much room for capacity expansion. Why just this week they added an extra car to 6 different trains each day, serving that many more people. They have barely gotten started in ramping up capacity. While they will eventually add 15% more trains, the main expansion will be to go to 8 cars on each existing train, up from the original 5. Each car hold more people than the largest bus run by VTA.

Posted by Olivia
a resident of Stierlin Estates
on Jul 28, 2016 at 2:48 am

I think that controlling concert traffic is a stupid idea.
It's just blocking the traffic for the people who live in the neighborhood.
It just doesn't help the traffic at all.

Web Link

Posted by Where is the info?
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 28, 2016 at 6:14 am

To the poster above stating that MVPD is giving out info regarding traffic advisories, citing we can call in and find out where to find this info -- can you please just share which app or service they use?
Thanks in advance.

Posted by Re: PA Resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2016 at 9:51 am

The MVPD blog page linked in my earlier comment shows a current Facebook bulletin a few minutes ago regarding Shoreline traffic this weekend (with four concert nights in a row). There's a link to sign up for such Facebook notices. That's to the lower right on the page. To the lower left are Twitter bulletins. Those are two of the services used. MVPD also posts bulletins to city-wide, so Nextdoor subscribers in MV neighborhoods get them, and can opt within Nextdoor for instant email notification.

Posted by fubar
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 28, 2016 at 10:01 am

The MVPD bulletin says traffic will be FUBAR for 4 days in a row. Have fun!

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 28, 2016 at 10:06 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Next up on the pro-gridlock agenda, Castro Street at the tracks!

Jim Neal
Old Mountain View

Posted by Bonnie
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 28, 2016 at 10:12 am

Could the Amphitheater lease Google busses for those concerts? I would absolutely take a bus from downtown or somewhere to a concert.

Posted by Kathy Hughes
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2016 at 10:44 am

Shoreline Amphitheatre has had its day, tear it down, build a full service hotel (like the Rosewood or the Cabana) right on the golf course, great location with minimal traffic impact. It's unbelievable that with all the development we still do not have a full service hotel in Mountain View. Unfortunately the city chose to sign a long term lease so I guess we are stuck with the Amphitheater and the horrendous traffic jams caused by the fans of their downmarket entertainment for years to's no Mountain Winery, that's for sure.

Just wait until they build the 10,000 housing units (aka apartment blocks) slated for North Bayshore. Get out your Google bike, you are going to need it.

Posted by Mark Noack
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 28, 2016 at 10:50 am

Mark Noack is a registered user.

It sounds like our article was just scratching the surface of the crazy traffic situation along Shoreline Boulevard.

After our story came out, I got a message from Karen deMoor, the owner of the La Avenida yoga studio Center of Balance. For years now, deMoor said she's been canceling evening classes on concert nights because her clients simply can't make it through the sea of traffic. Her studio loses a "significant" amount of money during concert season as a result, she said.

Unfortunately, deMoor and others around North Bayshore won't be getting much relief anytime soon. Just this morning, the city of Mountain View sent out a traffic warning regarding four consecutive concerts starting tonight, including two sold-out shows.

Web Link

For some shows, city officials say they may still close down La Avenida Street to keep traffic moving off the highway. For now, they're planning to close the road on Friday night and possibly on Sunday.

Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 28, 2016 at 11:08 am

Thanks to those who have said that there are places to sign up for these twitter feeds. Please can you place links as some of these are not as easy to find as you may think.

I am in Nextdoor, but I don't get any alerts about Mountain View, just about my neighborhood and 14 nearby ones, all in Palo Alto.

I am pleased that there are ways of getting these alerts, but it seems that there is a messy conglomeration of places rather than one useful method.

We don't even get alerts on highway signs telling us about concert traffic delays ahead, it is poor that they give minutes to SJ downtown without mentioning that there are long delays.

Traffic alerts are pathetic here. In Europe these alerts on highway signs have been commonplace for over 25 years!

This is Silicon Valley, the center of the technological age. Yet, we are way behind in our technology to give locals notification of when there is a concert causing delays, an accident or even if a parking lot is full!

Posted by D Man.
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 28, 2016 at 5:40 pm

RE: Closing??? comments.. NO THERE ISNT A SECOND DRIVEWAY when you are going down to pull in the bar, most people there after work are from Google who go to happy hour there YOU Obviously haven't been in the back to play Volley Ball or sit at the covered tables with a full kitchen and Obviously you have never owned your owned business who relies heavily on the big concert crowd which is 20 events a year to pay the outrageous rent in Mt View and let people park for free on their lot. I'm glad you don't go there.

Posted by Bee
a resident of North Bayshore
on Jul 28, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Someone told me SA's lease isn't renegotiable until 2020. I wet looking for info on the lease and found this, from Fall 2006:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------New Shoreline Amphitheatre Lease and Agreement
A three-year dispute between the City of Mountain View and Shoreline Amphitheatre Partners (SAP) regarding parking, rent payments and other operating issues at Shoreline Amphitheatre was settled in May when the City and SAP’s parent, Live Nation, Inc., entered into a new lease agreement for the Amphitheatre.
Under the terms of the new lease agreement, the City received a one-time cash payment of $10 million and a substantial increase to annual lease payments. Annual lease payments will now be $1.8 million, subject to escalators based on the number of concert events held each year. During the past 10 years, lease payments to the City had averaged approximately $730,000 each year.
Additionally, the City and Live Nation agreed to a new streamlined operating lease for the Amphitheatre, which will decrease the likelihood of future lease disputes by making lease compliance monitoring easier and less expensive for both parties.
The new lease and operating structure for the Amphitheatre:
• Provides the City with a substantially higher and more predictable revenue stream from the venue through a fixed annual lease payment rate.
• Allows the City to regain control of the property on which the Amphitheatre is located as much as 10 years earlier than it could have under the provisions of the previous lease agreement.
• Requires the Amphitheatre to implement several new safety and security improvements at the venue.
• ProvidesforimprovementstotheResidentPriorityTicketProgramthatallowsMountainView residents to purchase tickets for many events at Shoreline Amphitheatre in advance of sales to the general public.
For more information regarding the new Shoreline Amphitheatre lease, call the City Manager’s Office at (650) 903-6301. •
Live nation is making massive profits and contributing only grief to the City of MV. Renegotiation must be approaching. Let's hope fervently that we won't have the Council loaded with the kind of weenies who negotiated the 2006 lease - and hold their elective feet to the fire if they do.

I'm with Juan - bulldoze that puppy.

Posted by Housing
a resident of another community
on Jul 29, 2016 at 2:37 am

What a great project it would make to turn this Amphitheater thing into a deluxe housing project with 6 story buildings similar to the Hamptons rebuild in Cupertino by the Apple Spaceship. See Web Link and Web Link

We need the housing and it would be much less traffic disruption. The parking is already there. Hamptons is only 12 acres but this is 39 acres only counting the West Side of Shoreline Blvd around the Amphitheater. There's another 16 acres on the East side, just the parking lot.

At that density of 76 units/acre, this could be 4200 badly needed units of high quality housing.

Screw the Amphitheater. Get rid of it.

Posted by Re: PA Resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2016 at 8:23 am

"Please can you place links . . ."

Already done above. My first comment shows link to MVPD's blog page which (to repeat from a later comment) displays Twitter on lower left, Facebook on lower right, each with more links if you want to explore those services further. Mark Noack yesterday added another link directly to MVPD's Nixle feed; that page has instructions to sign up for alerts by that service, either online or by text message from any mobile phone. If you want these police advisories, they're abundantly available -- please take initiative on your own behalf to explore them further.

"PAPD do a good job on Twitter and other social media forewarning us when there is something at the Stanford stadium that will affect traffic." It looks like MVPD's advisory resources are comparable, for the corresponding traffic sources in MV, such as the Shoreline Amp.

"It seems that there is a messy conglomeration of places rather than one useful method" (to communicate traffic disruptions). I agree, it's largely by-city rather than regional, although the information at least is out there; within their jurisdictions, our police depts are pro-active communicators. If the complaint is that there are too many different electronic services for the same information, I agree there too -- but blame the public flocking to every new shiny hip service offered, therefore requiring an information source like MVPD to do more work, initiating parallel announcements on many different communication channels. This is a side effect of exploding internet use, and of the quest for Killer Apps to make their creators wealthy, whether or not the public ultimately benefits.

Posted by mountain view resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Jul 31, 2016 at 7:51 pm

The company contracted by the Amphitheatre to manage and control the traffic is Platinum Parking Management. The owner/ manager's name is Tony Cardechi. He intentionally understaffs the crew every show to save a little money for himself, and then he doesn't even show up to Shoreline for work, he goes to other CA job sites that in his opinion are more worth his time. He puts his nephew in charge who makes a playground of the crew, letting his friends without licenses hold traffic drive golf carts up and down the street to 711, and puts the traffic controllers in danger by limiting their resources. Ask him for a statement. Ask him why he thinks a crew of 20 is safer and more efficient for keeping traffic flowing and pedestrians on the sidewalk than a crew of 100 like there should be (when it obviously is not). Also ask him about the current class action lawsuit against him and his company.

Posted by Propaganda
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 1, 2016 at 9:55 am

If you don't understand that all this discussion of huge traffic is inflammatory and propaganda-ridden, you aren't reading behind the lines and are indeed the sheep being led by the nose.

Of COURSE there is going to be increased and insane amounts of traffic when there's an event. This isn't necessarily a problem, just one inconvenience of being fortunate enough to live next to the many diverse places we have. You have to take the good wth the bad.

Of course the media and pro-transit-spend-your-taxes-any-way-they-can naysayers are blowing this up and making it look like this huge issue.

I have Lived in many, many cities. When you live in a dense area and there are sporadic events you are going to get sporadic increase in traffic. MV PD does an awesome job getting the word out. Try to avoid as much as you can and just deal with it. Those with businesses in the area should have recognized when they put themselves there. And again, the fact that they're in a highly desirable area brings increased business in the first place.

Our traffic isn't that bad. You want bad, try driving in Bangkok, Paris, London, Buenos Aires. That's bad. Again, the media and transit folks are pushing an agenda that just creates more and more and more taxes.


Posted by Concerts
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Aug 1, 2016 at 2:16 pm

As someone who grew up having to go to Oakland (coliseum), SF (Cow Palace, Civic), or Concord for concerts, I love having Shoreline accessibility. And great seats are set aside for MV residents (who are paying attention to release dates). I'd bet that 500 - 1000 MV residents (could be much higher) are at every sold out show.

Sure, traffic can be a bit tricky on weeknights. But concert-goers are just a small percentage of the mix, and if memory serves me correctly, the amphitheatre was there ahead of Google, etc.