Fri11282014

Mountain View on the Move

Levi's Stadium opening prompts MV to initiate parking pass play

The opening of the 49ers stadium in Santa Clara has a rippling impact on downtown Mountain View.

The weekly Mountain View Farmers’ Market, held Sundays in the Caltrain parking lot off Evelyn Avenue, is being relocated to another lot on game days so that Caltrain can accommodate the expected increase in train traffic.

The city also plans to implement a paid parking program on stadium event days to mitigate overflow parking on residential streets. The changes are scheduled to take effect when the stadium begins hosting events next month. The Mountain View City Council approved the program at its July 1 meeting.

“The Farmers’ Market is in the Caltrain lot, which we do not control,” said City Manager Dan Rich. “They will need to move on event days in order for the lot to be available for cars.”

The council June 17 approved the market’s use of Parking Lot 12, located on Bryant Avenue between California and Mercy streets, for the days events are slated at Levi’s Stadium.

Meanwhile, the anticipated train traffic encouraged by the Santa Clara Stadium Authority will mean more occupied parking spaces in and around the Mountain View train station.

“The increased reliance on regional transit facilities could impact downtown Mountain View and the surrounding residential neighborhood due to the anticipated use of Mountain View’s Transit Center,” according to a staff report for the July 1 city council meeting.

The Valley Transportation Authority estimates that 2,600-3,400 passengers could transfer from Caltrain to VTA light-rail service at the Mountain View station. That translates to approximately 500-600 cars, according to estimates. With a 330-car capacity in the Caltrain lot, officials estimate 170-270 vehicles parking in the surrounding area.

Mountain View officials plan to implement paid parking at parking structure No. 1 and at lots 4, 8 and 9. Tiffany Chew, the city’s business development specialist, said the Farmers’ Market use of Parking Lot 12 is for this year only, and a permanent spot would have to be found. The city has plans to develop Lot 12 in a few years, she added.

Three-hour time limits will be offered 5-10 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends for downtown visitors. Paid permits will be offered to those intending to attend games at the stadium. The city plans to set the cost in conjunction with what Caltrain will be charging for its lot, but as of last week, Caltrain officials had yet to set a price. Staff is suggesting an all-day $10 fee, higher if Caltrain officials decide to charge more than $10. Based on 270 spaces, the $10 vehicle fee could generate $46,000 for city coffers. However, staff estimates the costs of implementing the program at $85,000. The city is looking to hire a parking management agency, which would involve a parking attendant collecting fees at each of the lots.

Chew said the city will adjust its plans as the real numbers come in from stadium traffic.

“We really don’t know what the impact will be until the stadium opens,” she said.

The council also approved a residential permit program for the approximately 2,500 residents living on streets near the train station. The permits involve three-hour on-street parking limits on stadium days.

“The goal of the permit program is to ensure that on-street parking in those neighborhoods remains available for residents,” according to the staff report.

The city is mailing two parking permits to each business and household, and those needing additional permits are encouraged to visit city hall.

City officials plan to install signage at the entrances to all parking facilities outlining stadium-day timed restrictions.

Seventeen events are scheduled for Levi’s Stadium’s 2014-2015 season, the majority of which are 49ers games. The first event is a San Jose Earthquakes game against the Seattle Sounders Aug. 2.

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