Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Santa Clara Citizen's Advisory Committee Meeting, Wed., July 2nd: Welcome S.F. 49ers's Manager of Government Affairs

Dear Santa Clarans,


The Santa Clara Citizens' Advisory Committee will meet this Wednesday evening, July 2nd, at 7:00 pm in City Council Chambers.

The guest speaker for the evening will be Mr. Rahul Chandhok, the Manager of Government Affairs for the San Francisco 49ers, who will present on the status of Levi's Stadium and host a question & answer session.

Can you make it?   Tell your neighbors, and please come out and ask those questions about the stadium you've always wanted to ask.


Thanks for your support,

William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,
SantaClaraPlaysFair.org

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Monday, June 23, 2014

The 49ers' Traffic Jams and Parking: The Last Community Meeting will be held this Wednesday, June 25th

Dear Santa Clarans north of U.S. 101,


There is just one Community Meeting left for the public discussion of the traffic and the parking management which will be needed throughout the area near the 49ers' stadium:

Date Time Location
Wednesday, June 25 7:00-8:30pm Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park
Conference Room
5020 Stars and Stripes Drive
Santa Clara, CA 95054
  
An NFL event will lead to a stream of easily 20,000 motor vehicles into our city's north side - an SUV for virtually every resident of Zip Code 95054.

The earlier meetings have been attended by maybe a hundred folks each, tops - meaning that only a tiny fraction of people with a stake in the traffic management associated with the stadium have turned out for these meetings.

How the multi-city police force parks those 20,000 vehicles over the five hours before a kickoff - and sends them on their way during the 90 minutes after game-over - affects every resident of Santa Clara and a great many also in north San Jose and Sunnyvale.    

Please note:

1.     Anyone may attend the meeting on Wednesday evening at the Youth Soccer Park. 

2.     You do not need to be registered to vote in order to attend these meetings.

3.     You do not need to be a homeowner to attend.  If you rent, you have a stake in this, too.

From the May 19th meeting, please see the actual PowerPoint slides here, and if you have any questions, we urge you to contact directly:

Mayor Matthews and the City Council 
        or          
The Santa Clara Police Department

 

Please let us know if we may provide anything else, and thank you for all of your support.


Best regards,
William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,
http://www.SantaClaraPlaysFair.org/

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Next:  More on the June 10th Council Meeting - and a little on the Development Study Session that preceded it.
 

The 49ers' Stadium Subsidy: Includes our City Parklands, too.


Dear Santa Clarans,


As you know, our City Council and our Department of Parks and Recreation are contemplating the placement of soccer pitches on one or both of Jenny Strand and Montague Parks.   At the City Council Meeting of last Tuesday evening, June 10th,  Santa Clarans and friends of those parks strongly urged that they be left exactly as they are.

Those public comments also gave us a clue to how we got where we are today.   One resident lateraled this easy pass right over the dais - 'You're not closing the City of Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park, are you?' 

Mayor Matthews responded, in essence, 'Heavens, no!' 

Right answer.    However, it was the wrong question.

Of course we're not closing the YSP!   The real question should have been, "Why are we moving dedicated soccer pitches into Santa Clara city parks?  We have a Youth Soccer Park!"

We do indeed.   Of course one could try to make a case for additional soccer field capacity elsewhere in the city simply because the Youth Soccer Park is so heavily booked during the season.  But please consider that, since the passage of Measure Jed over four years ago, not one word of that has been spoken other than in the promises made by Jed York to the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League - promises since broken by Mr. York and the San Francisco 49ers.

There is no motivation for the 49ers - or even for the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, for that matter - to guarantee access to the Youth Soccer Park on an NFL event day.  In fact, it is much more in the interest of the 49ers' front office to frustrate soccer park patrons as much as they possibly can, first to drive the offsite soccer pitch development (paid for by us and not by the 49ers) and then to force the city to relocate the Youth Soccer Park altogether (ditto).

All so that Jed York can park his VIPs' stretch limos on the grass.

Santa Clarans, the San Francisco 49ers are desperate to keep their names out of this entire affair.  It is no accident that the three City Councilmembers who placed themselves on the Ad Hoc Additional Soccer Fields Committee** are diehard 49ers stadium boosters.   They're more than happy to run interference for Jed York.

But Santa Clara Plays Fair urges that all residents call it for what it is:   Coercion by the 49ers which, at minimum, is intended to force soccer matches out of the Youth Soccer Park on NFL game days.   The Councilmembers on the Ad Hoc Committee should be working for us on this issue and demanding that the 49ers do what they promised us.   They should not be shielding Jed York and the 49ers from the consequences of their own double-dealing.

We would truly appreciate hearing from residents on this issue.  However, where Santa Clara city parks in your own neighborhoods are concerned, it's much more important that you ask hard questions of our seven City Councilmembers, particularly since they also comprise the Santa Clara Stadium Authority.   Please contact them at MayorAndCouncil@santaclaraca.gov  .

In sum:   If Santa Clarans are being forced to give up the use of the Youth Soccer Park and multiple city park lands all because of the San Francisco 49ers' parking fiasco, then we're once again subsidizing Jed York and the 49ers by losing taxpayer-supported city services we've paid for but which we will no longer have available.

We've given Jed York and the San Francisco 49ers quite enough.   We most certainly do not owe Jed York what was demanded of supporters of Jenny Strand and Montague Parks last Tuesday night.

As for youth soccer in our city:   We have one Youth Soccer Park.   We should not be forced to live with three or four little ones.

The City of Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park, after all, is where real football is being played.



Thank you for all of your support,
William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,
SantaClaraPlaysFair.org

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Next:  More on the June 10th Council Meeting - and a little on the Development Study Session that preceded it.

**Agenda Item 12D, City Council Meeting of March 25th, 2014   (Scroll down to item 12D.  That's the only place in which the formation of the Ad Hoc Committee is even noted.)














Saturday, May 31, 2014

The 49ers' Traffic Jams and Parking: Please attend Northside Community Meeting on Monday, June 2nd

Dear Santa Clarans north of U.S. 101,


Three of the five Community Meetings concerning the management of stadium traffic and parking have been held on our city's north side.   They've been well-attended, meaning that about eighty to ninety residents have mostly filled a hundred-or-so seats at every meeting.

However, there are somewhere between 22,000 and 25,000 Santa Clarans who live in the area of Zip Code 95054, so perhaps only 1% of northside residents have actually seen and heard this very important presentation.

How the multi-city police force parks over 20,000 vehicles over the five hours before a kickoff - and sends them on their way during the 90 minutes after game-over - affects every resident of Santa Clara and a great many also in north San Jose and Sunnyvale.    It might be worth clarifying:

You do not need to be registered to vote in order to attend these meetings.

You do not need to be a homeowner to attend.

Anyone may attend either or both of the two remaining meetings.

Santa Clara Plays Fair would like to urge especially that as many Northside residents as possible come to these final two meetings:


Date Time Location
Monday, June 2 7:00-8:30pm Kathryn Hughes Elementary School
4949 Calle De Escuela
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Wednesday, June 25 7:00-8:30pm Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park
Conference Room
5020 Stars and Stripes Drive
Santa Clara, CA 95054

From the May 19th meeting, please see the actual PowerPoint slides here, and if you have any questions, we urge you to contact directly:

Mayor Matthews and the City Council 
        or          
The Santa Clara Police Department

Yes, the plan for the stadium traffic jams is dynamic and subject to change.   But the state that it's in right now is a fair indication of the disruption that Santa Clarans can expect not only on game days, but on non-NFL event days as well.

Please let us know if we may provide anything else, and thank you for all of your support.


Best regards,
William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,
http://www.SantaClaraPlaysFair.org/

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Monday, April 21, 2014

The 49ers' Blame Game: Pin it on the School District? Oh, sure.

Dear Santa Clarans:


The spinmeisters of the San Francisco 49ers were out in full force during and after the City Council Meeting of March 25th.

Regrettably, some of those doing the spinning were seated on the dais of our own City Council.

At about 7:45 that evening, Santa Clara Unified School District's Trustee Board President, Dr. Christine Koltermann, made perfectly clear that there was one single meeting between representatives of the 49ers, and the District Superintendent at the time, Dr. Bobbie Plough, regarding the use of district athletic fields.

At no time was any proposal brought to the Board of Trustees in public session, and most certainly none with any commitment of 49ers funds, for the simple reason that the 49ers failed to return to the SCUSD at any time after that.

But it took Councilmembers Mahan and Gillmor less than 30 minutes to misrepresent precisely those contacts between the team and the school district, each essentially claiming that our school district was somehow sandbagging the 49ers.

The spinmeisters - on and off of our Council - need desperately to persuade us that Santa Clara Unified is spoiling everybody's fun by denying the use of SCUSD athletic fields by the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League.   Not only is that false on its face, it not even what this is about.

Believe it or not, it's about parking stretch limousines:   Among the over 20,000 parking spaces the the 49ers now claim they've secured, the team still can't seem to find enough parking stalls for their VIP guests.   They're putting the screws to the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park to give up their use of a youth athletic facility that our tax dollars have already paid for.

At the time of the March 25th Council meeting, in fact, the team's extortion was much worse:   The San Francisco 49ers were actually  withholding the very funds they claim they were previously willing to expend for additional soccer fields.  They did that to coerce the youth soccer teams into giving up their use of our soccer park on NFL event days.  In other words, 'give us your soccer pitches, or we won't pay for the ones we promised you when we were trying to get you to vote Yes on Jed.'

Now, as a result of the San Francisco 49ers reneging on their agreement, YOU are paying the initial $2,000,000 for the development of new soccer pitches.

To make an unpleasant story short, the press releases we've seen since the March 25th meeting - city and team - could be most charitably characterized as "indignant backpedaling":   Due to the uproar over the 49ers' broken promises on the Youth Soccer Park, City Hall has itself now finally stated publicly that the Youth Soccer Park will be accessible and open to the soccer leagues on NFL event days.

At last!

But the question remains:  If there was no intent to hand the Youth Soccer Park over to the 49ers during every NFL event, then why wasn't the assurance above given to us residents last September when the 49ers's parking fiasco became public?

This is nothing more than the 49ers' parking problems, reloaded, and the Santa Clara Unified School District is not responsible for fixing them.

Instead, we urge all residents to demand that our Council - identically our Stadium Authority - force the 49ers themselves to honor their commitments to our city's youngest residents.



Thanks for all of your support,
William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,
http://www.SantaClaraPlaysFair.org/

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1.    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Lots-of-oil-in-rail-tank-cars-about-to-be-coming-5341197.php  - scroll down to "Niners vs. Soccer"

2.    Several links to the city's own statements on the accessibility of our Youth Soccer Park are now stale.  But a snippet of the coverage in Danville.com follows:

         Dan Beerman, spokesman for the city, said it is not true as some have reported that the 49ers are trying to take over the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park , beside the $3 billion Levi's project on Stars & Stripes Drive near Tasman Drive in Santa Clara . 
         The city-owned park, which has two grass fields and one artificial turf field for soccer and 140 parking stalls, is not closing and will be open even on crowded days when the 49ers play football to 68,500 fans on starting this fall, Beerman said. 
         "The soccer field is going to stay at the stadium and is going to be available to play at any time," Beerman said. 
         "People will be able to get in and access it even on (49ers) game days," he said. 

 

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

City Council Meeting Tues.: The 49ers' Traffic Jams & the TMOP - Part Two

Dear Santa Clarans,


There are some parts of the Traffic Management and Operations Plan, or TMOP, that are worth flagging.  A short index might help in locating the important parts.  Page numbers shown below are document page numbers:

1.    What data is going to be collected, so that we can challenge any spin on the traffic numbers?:

  • See page 4, Table 2-1
2.    Streets in Zip Code 95054 subject to access and/or parking restrictions, "Areas of Parking Prohibitions," and "Measures to Protect Property Owners:"
  • See list, page 6, Section 2.2.2
  • See page 106, Figure 5.5-3
  • See page 107
  The above is a critical feature of the parking plan.  Recall that the 49ers' stadium boosters sold their "plan" three years ago based on firm guarantees of 'residential intrusion control.'   Now, all of that is out the window.  If you live close to the 49ers' stadium, the amount of parking enforcement you get will depend on how much enforcement you demand.

3.    Neighboring properties are expected to be in use during an NFL event.  Note the inclusion of the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park.  That's pretty much pro forma at this point, because no one really knows what's going to happen to the YSL:
  • See list, page 10, Section 2.2.6
4.    "An illustration of the likely parking facilities for Stadium events is provided in Figure 2-4."  Likely?  After two years of obfuscation by the San Francisco 49ers on exactly this issue, there should be no "likely," but instead firm letters-of-intent and an exact numerical total of parking stalls.  They either have the 21,000 parking spaces they claim, or they do not.  To get most of the story:
  • See page 12, Figure 2-4, for "likely" parking facilities
  • See page 102, Figure 5.5-1, for "Potential" Stadium Parking Program"
  • See page 103, Table 5.5-2, for a count of those "likely" parking spaces

5.    "As described earlier, the parking program [Over three years after Measure Jed was passed!] has not yet been finalized for event day use of off-site parking facilities.":
  • See page 101
6.    Page 5 does show the totals of patrons and their estimated arrival and departure rates.  But note that estimated 18,818 vehicle trips does not include the 1,740 vehicle trips made by some 2,900 stadium employees on an NFL game day.  For the straight story on those additional trips - and the parking stalls needed to accommodate them:
  • See page 99
7.     Business Owners:  If you refused to agree to the 49ers' offsite parking demands, then you're now on your're own.  Please see the last sentence in the following paragraph:
  • See page 104, "Areas of Parking Prohibitions"

►  In sum, considering how long we've been waiting for it, the Transportation Management and Operations Plan should have (1) a rock-solid description of a fully-formed Parking Overlay District, and (2) at least some indication of the makeup of the NFL event-day multicity police force needed to squeeze the 49ers' traffic jams into parking spaces.   Unfortunately, it contains neither.   Residents on Santa Clara's north side, in particular,  should have serious concern over what this plan fails to make firm.

If you need any additional information on the TMOP, we'll be happy to answer any questions we're able to.  What we don't know, we'll find out.

We welcome your commentary as well - but comments you have on the TMOP should also be directed to the Mayor and the City Council.  Please let them know what you think.


Thanks for all of your support,
William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,
http://www.SantaClaraPlaysFair.org

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

City Council Meeting Tues.: The 49ers' Traffic Jams & the TMOP - Part One

Dear Santa Clarans,


The 49ers Stadium's Transportation Management and Operations Plan, or TMOP comes before Council this Tuesday evening, November 19th.  These 150 pages will directly impact Santa Clarans and Sunnyvale residents living north or U.S. 101.  Santa Clara Plays Fair encourages all Santa Clarans, but in particular those of us in Zip Code 95054, to examine this plan carefully.

This will give you a fair idea of the traffic jams that you can expect during events at the 49ers' stadium.


  • First, see the report's page 5 and note that the total number of vehicle trips on an NFL game day is recycled from the 2009 Environmental Impact Report.   At that time, the San Francisco 49ers and their stadium boosters needed desperately to low-ball the count of vehicle trips so that any traffic plan here would "show well" compared to Candlestick Park.

If you believe that figure - 18,818 vehicle trips - then maybe the 21,000 offsite parking spaces (the parking spaces that the 49ers now swear they have) will be enough to accommodate those vehicles.   If the intersections are cleared a little sooner, fine - but none of this is going to reduce those game-day traffic jams in any way.


  • Of greater interest to Santa Clara residents, particularly on our north side, will be 'Residential Intrusion Control.'  See page 6 of the report, Section 2.2.2,  for a list of streets with "Event-related vehicle access" restrictions.   At the very least, if you are a resident of the Agnews area on Santa Clara's north side, your own street should be on this list.
  • But what the City - and the Stadium Authority - are really willing to do to prevent residential parking from being swamped with game-day parking has been dialed back quite a bit since 2009.   See in Section 5.1.1 on report page 29 the four numbered bullets at the bottom of the page:   Basically, you will get parking enforcement on your street not because it's the right thing to do, but only if you speak up about abuses by 49ers' fans.    Those game-goers will be trying to evade the parking fees in the much-vaunted "Offsite Parking District."


Frankly, if we're dealing with game-goers who've spent $2,000 to $20,000 on stadium PSLs, they should have no quarrel with paying $40 to stow the Escalade while they're at the game.  If they do have a problem with that and if they insist on jam-packing your own street so that you can't park in front of your own home, that will speak volumes about the regard that the 49ers' fan community truly has for the team's new home.

Can you attend the City Council Meeting this Tuesday evening?  If you are a resident concerned about the game-day congestion generated by the 49ers' stadium, you can express those concerns when the TMOP is taken up.

Please come to Council Chambers, 1500 Warburton Drive, at 7:00 pm on Tuesday evening.  If you cannot attend, please email your written comments directly to the Mayor and the City Council .
 
Tomorrow:   A little index for the TMOP.


Thanks for all of your support,
William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer,
http://www.santaclaraplaysfair.org/

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