Q Here's a puzzler: We're now about one year away from kickoff at the 49ers' Levi's Stadium facility. As a homeowner who lives 0.9 miles from this monster, I want to know when the heck Sunnyvale and Santa Clara are going to begin infrastructure projects to accommodate the transportation needs of 60,000-plus fans?
There is zero chance that the current Tasman/Lawrence/Great America area can support 60,000 fans and their cars. Lanes and a light rail station need to be added.
I have a very bad feeling that the 49ers are going to do zippo upgrades to accommodate event-day traffic. Methinks the team will let residents suffer with the current roads to and from the stadium, and then after a year of gridlock, residents will be asked to vote for a general obligation bond to expand the stadium-adjacent streets. Which, by the way, sucks.
A My thought is that this won't be as bad as you fear, even though no major road changes are planned. Yes, there will be 60,000 fans but most will carpool and roads like Great America and Lawrence are plenty wide, with major freeways (101 and 237) nearby.
Santa Clara officials believe about 18,000 cars will be driven to the stadium on game days, with two to four people in each vehicle. Because most games will be on Sundays, the area should be able to handle the extra traffic without a lot of problems. Plus, there will be a lot of parking available at surrounding office buildings that are predominantly empty on the weekend.
By kickoff next season, the Valley Transportation Authority hopes to double-track its line through Mountain View and add a third track on Tasman Drive in Santa Clara, improving the connection with Caltrain.
Then, by the 2016 season, the single track from Highway 85 across Central Expressway to Whisman station will get a second track. This will allow VTA to run express trains between Mountain View and Alum Rock to connect with future BART service at the Montague station in Milpitas. The BART line could be operating in 2017.
Plans are underway to improve pedestrian access to and from VTA's Great America station. The 49ers will expand the Great America light-rail platform and a game day-only pedestrian crossing to serve Santa Clara's new parking garage on Tasman.
Q Highway 25, linking Highway 101 and Hollister, may indeed have had only one fatality since safety upgrades like the soft median was installed. However, it is still anything but safe. I drive it daily. But going near the posted 55-mph speed limit subjects one to tailgating, flashing headlights and passing. I've had motorists pass me -- not just by going over the 4-foot median rumble strip flanked by double yellow lines, but even passing over the rumble strips on the right-hand shoulder! I've had the same county transit driver tailgate me numerous times. The CHP seems to ignore Highway 25 because of all the safety improvements. More enforcement is needed.
A Not good, not good at all. I've forwarded this to the Gilroy CHP office.
Q One morning while traveling in the HOV lane with my carpool from southbound Interstate 880 to westbound Highway 237, the HOV lane came to a near halt from 45 to 50 mph as one vehicle drastically slowed to cross the double white line and exit at Zanker Road. The vehicle was a VTA bus with its "out of service" sign flashing. Are VTA buses exempt from the law prohibiting crossing the double-white lines during carpool hours?
A "Absolutely not," said Brandi-the-VTA-Spokeswoman. You provided her with a bus number, and the driver may get a talking to.
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