Eight and a half years into the Levi’s Stadium era, Santa Clara and the 49ers seemingly still have not figured out the traffic situation near the stadium, and fans and sports media alike are calling Sunday’s game-day mess the “worst traffic jam in Levi’s Stadium history.”
Three day prior to Sunday’s 19-12 playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys, the City of Santa Clara put out a press release saying “Heavy traffic and delays are anticipated on major thoroughfares leading to and from the stadium, including Highways 101, 237, 880, Lawrence Expressway, Great America Parkway and San Tomas Expressway, as a result of the event. Expect increased traffic to begin around 12 p.m.”
Traffic Advisory for Levi’s® Stadium & the Surrounding Area – 1/22/23@49ers vs @dallascowboys— Santa Clara Police (@SantaClaraPD) January 20, 2023
1:30am, Tasman Dr closed
11am, Creek trail detour in place
12pm, Parking lots open
1:30pm, Stadium gates open
Full Advisory https://t.co/q3zEeM7Az0 pic.twitter.com/0pSYYeKzgb
Hey City of Santa Clara, it appears press releases alone are not doing the job here. The Chronicle’s writeup of the game noted that “Pregame traffic was snarled and gummed up worse than any time in Levi’s history, with cars taking up to 90 minutes to creep the mile from the freeway to the parking lots."
Of course, traffic problems have been a consistent nightmare since Levi's Stadium opened in 2014. Residents have long complained that they feel like “hostages” stuck in their homes because their roads are too clogged to travel anywhere, and fans attending events wonder why the local infrastructure is still not scaling up to what a stadium with a capacity of nearly 70,000 would require.
Before fans could get into Levi's Stadium to watch the 49ers face the Cowboys, they had to deal with a nightmare on the road. https://t.co/oEfQI2L59i— SFGATE (@SFGate) January 23, 2023
SFGate covered Sunday’s enormous 49ers traffic jam, and noted that “Niners Nation contributor Jordan Elliott told SFGATE that it took him more than an hour to travel the 1-2 miles from the freeway exit to the parking lot for the game. According to Elliott, there were no visible traffic coordination efforts to address the situation.”
May make it before the fourth hour ends.— Christina Kahrl (@ChristinaKahrl) January 22, 2023
Cheer up, Santa Clara residents, the 49ers’ next game on Sunday at 12 noon PT is in Philadelphia, and there will be no more NFL games at Levi’s Stadium until August 2023. But Taylor Swift is coming in July (for two nights), Madonna is coming in October (for two nights), and Beyonce's likely to be coming too. The 49ers, and/or Santa Clara, should probably consider some traffic mitigation efforts real quick.
This has been the worst day getting into Levi's in its history. Happy championship game!— Ann Killion (@annkillion) January 22, 2023
Image: @JannieGavile via Twitter