The new 49er stadium, traffic, and EIRs
Field of Schemes is an essential site for information and critiques of stadium deals/issues around the country. Check it out on the new Niners stadium in Santa Clara and traffic gridlock in the area. Turns out that EIRs can be futile, doorstop-like documents. Who knew? Some comments to the story:
MikeM: See, the thing that bothers me about this is that these entities are required to write an EIR, and then have it approved, and once it has been approved, they’re in the clear.
It shouldn’t be that way. If the EIR says, “This won’t cause traffic issues!” and then it turns out that they missed that mark by miles, then the ones who wrote and the ones who approved the EIR should be financially liable to resolve the problems. If that means they have to add a lane on the freeway for 2 miles in all applicable directions, then so be it.
If this had REAL penalties, maybe EIRs wouldn’t turn out to be the steaming piles of bullshit they currently are. So sure, people can claim their EIR surpassed requirements, but it ain’t exactly like the requirements are worth a plug nickel.
Another commenter responded:
@Mike M: Yes, there was an EIR. The 49ers paid for it. The parking and traffic portion of the EIR predicted a level of service of ‘F’ at intersections near the stadium---that’s complete gridlock. Our City Council knew this and approved the EIR anyway. It isn’t a matter of the EIR hiding the truth---the truth was exposed and our Council and the 49ers wanted a stadium in that location so badly that they just ignored the EIR.
No one seems to care about the residents who live on the north side. They are getting caught up in this awful traffic and can’t go about their normal routines. Neighborhoods were supposed to be protected with ‘neighborhood intrusion controls’ to keep stadium patrons from parking up the streets---that didn’t happen last Saturday, and residents are hopping mad about it.
We have a City Council which all live in the older, single family low-density residential area of Santa Clara, far from the stadium, so our council members don’t have to experience the traffic that our north side residents experience.
See also SFGate's Fans share gripes about 1st Levi's Stadium experience.
Field of Schemes on the idea of a new stadium in Oakland.
How labor unions abused CEQA in Petaluma.