Santa Clara residents express concerns, complaints about Levi's Stadium

- Santa Clara Stadium Authority Board members are poised to hear the results of a survey completed by residents. The topics range from parking to the stadium’s influence on traffic. 

Concerns and complaints over traffic started flowing faster than vehicles after a Levi’s event. Nearby residents complain the relatively new stadium is a magnet for area gridlock.

“They should get rid of it. Seriously, it’s terrible,” said Rudy Parinas, who has lived a few blocks from the site of Levi’s Stadium since 1979.

The city’s Stadium Authority Board, controlled by the city council, hired three consultants to conduct a six-month community outreach and engagement survey. The goal was to get honest feedback on a host of city issues, including those related to Levi’s Stadium.

“Most of these people that are here were here before Levi’s ever came in, so this is not what a lot of people signed up for,” said Allen Ulman, who lives with his uncle a few block from Levi’s.

Although the full report won’t be released until Thursday night, a summary shows residents are “…dissatisfied with the level of traffic, parking, and disruptive behavior following stadium events.” Some residents who live in the shadow of the stadium echoed the survey’s findings.

“Sometimes we have to park far away from my house and walk to my house. And then we find out, ‘oh, they have a game,’” said Sue Doung, who’s lived in the area for 13 years. Parinas added, “You can’t go out, it’s like you’re in jail. Seriously. And after, when the game is over, traffic.”

The survey shows stadium issues are not top of mind for most residents, compared to other concerns, such as the skyrocketing price of housing. 

The San Francisco 49ers football team, which controls the stadium, declined comment, as did Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gilmore. A second portion of the survey, conducted in May, found residents wanted solutions to the issues of traffic, parking, and disruptive behavior.

“When you’re dealing with Niner fans, you’ll encounter some kind of disruptive behavior, especially when everyone’s in such a condensed area. It can get a little rowdy,” said Ulman.

More police to monitor behavior and more mass transit to ease congestion were two common responses from residents. But it’s unclear how much of that wish list can or will be implemented.

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