Updates have been incorporated based your experience and mine from the Earthquakes / Sounders soccer game shakedown.
The Levi’s Stadium bike directions list out suggested paths and streets to use when accessing the stadium. I personally like pictures, so I’ve created a map of bike paths and street access to the stadium from those paths for your convenience.
In the below scrollable & zoomable map, separated bike paths are shown in solid green, and on-street bike routes from the path to the stadium are a subdued green. The San Tomas Aquino Trail will be closed between Agnew and Tasman during events “to ensure the integrity of the stadium’s security perimeter” – this is shown in red. The official detour is the purple route.
Some of these on-street routes are better than others. Tasman Drive will be closed to motor traffic during events between about Great America Parkway and Centennial Boulevard, but traffic is expected to be very heavy on Tasman outside of this closure zone. Great American Parkway has sufficient bike lanes, but watch for those left crosses and right hooks. Lafayette traffic can be very fast. Finally, I’ve been told that the California Office of Traffic Safety has warned Santa Clara County to expect an increase in DUI crashes and DUI fatalities due to the stadium, so watch for those impaired idiots post-game.
Levi’s Stadium bike directions and bike parking updates
During the Stadium opening event, many people ran into problems with uninformed staff and confusing directions regarding bikes and bike parking. Read the comments below for details.
- Free bike parking is indeed available in Red Lot 1: If you ask ushers, they may tell you the wrong thing, but there is a fenced paddock with valet bike racks in Red Lot 1. This is the lot next to Gate C, where the San Tomas Aquino Trail intersects with Tasman Road. This valet parking is only minimally manned, so bring a lock.
- The San Tomas Aquino Trail is closed between Agnew and Tasman: This surprised several people who tried biking and walking to the stadium. To make things worse, the security personnel manning the trail closures apparently had no information about the detours. I wrote to the Santa Clara BPAC and the Stadium Transportation Operations Group regarding this; they promised better signage on the trail in advance of the closures, and better training for the security people.
On a related note, some people noted that the trail could be opened up between Agnew and the Great America parking lot while still maintaining the security perimeter.
- Trail detour: The trail detour between Agnew and the Stadium is shown in purple on the embedded map. It’s accurate, but it does get confusing on the ground, especially once you pass into the Amtrak parking lot and cross over to the golf course parking lot where things get very crowded with people. I suggest scouting this route before game day if you can.
The security people and ushers in this area mostly don’t know how to get to bike parking, but if you ask for “Red Lot 1” they might be more helpful. Once you get to Tasman Drive from Centennial (near the Santa Clara Convention Center parking garage), you’ll be asked to dismount and walk your bike. Given how congested this area is it’s a reasonable request.
- Bags are not allowed inside the stadium: You’ll want to think about what you bring on your bike. Bags of any kind are not permitted past the stadium security checkpoints. Leave lights, helmets, tools, etc on your bike; otherwise, you’ll need to wait a long time to retrieve your belongings from the bag checks.
- Lockable bike racks: The “valet” bike paddocks are those portable rods used to park hundreds of bikes at large events like football games. They have fantastic capacity, but rate poorly for security. If you insist on a proper bike rack, these are available inside of the Santa Clara Convention Center parking garage, and at various locations inside the security perimeter next to the stadium itself but outside of the gates.
Free bike valet parking will be available in Red Lot 1, which is where the San Tomas Aquino Trail intersects with Tasman Drive.
If the embedded map is too small, try clicking here for the full size Levi’s Stadium bike directions map.
Doubly so if you are a Sounders fan!
Will there be a Bike Share station at the stadium?
Just got back from the earthquakes game. Detour signs getting to the stadium were good, but sort of fell apart once you got onto Tasman. We had some difficulty finding the “valet” parking, which was staffed by one attendant and not really valet.
Leaving was a bit crazier, as the route back to San Tomas Creek Trail included going against the tide of ped traffic walking to the VTA bus/light rail departure for part of the way. There should probably be some sort of bike exit pathway.
Thanks for the report, @BobK. I also discovered the valet parking was back by Gates E & F opposite Centennial Drive, and none of the helpers knew where it was until you got there.
We biked to the stadium tonight, and wished we hadn’t! We had no idea the STAC trail would be closed, and the guards at Agnew sent us in the wrong direction, through an unmarked, unlit maze of private parking lots full of pedestrians. We also didn’t consider the parking “valet”, and lifted our own bikes on to the stand up racks. The trail was still closed AFTER the event, again forcing us to bike through crowds and parking lots. VERY disappointing, what’s the point of having a bike trail to the stadium if we’re not allowed to use it?!
I rode to the earthquakes game. We parked by Sunnyvale Baylands Park and rode in via the Baylands Trail and then the San Thomas Aquino Trail. It was fine but the signs for the bike parking at the stadium were not clear and most of the people directing people close to the park did not know where the parking was. The parking areas were not manned so you need to bring a lock. The bike racks are high up. The back wheel of my bike was off the ground.
When we left there was a person with a light helping people see their locks and there was an official asking about our experience so they can make it better. We parked by gate A and were told that the other parking was full. After the game it was tricky to find the San Thomas Aquino trail and a rude police officer was no help. We rode down Great America Parkway and found the trail and got back to our car. We were way ahead of traffic when we got back on 237. Biking is the only way to go to the stadium.
The crowds at the lite rail looked horrendous.
One note about the Sunnyvale Baylands Park you have to pay to park, only $6 but they close the gates at around 8 pm so do not park there for night events.
Also bring a light the trails are very dark.
It is absolutely unacceptable the San Thomas Aquino Trail to be closed off to Agnew after the game as it does not affect “integrity of the stadium’s security perimeter”. Considering how BAD every single news channel (KPIX5, KTVU2, KRON4, KNTV, KGO) is reporting traffic to be you would think they would do ANYTHING to resolve it. Including letting bicyclists egress south on San Thomas Aquino trail.
None of the stadium construction plans included any mentions of San Thomas Aquino Trail from Agnew to Tasman being closed “to ensure the integrity of the stadium’s security perimeter”. Instead pages 95-98 of this plan https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15342774/Levi's%20Stadium/TMOP%20Draft%20Version%206-3-13.pdf specifically divert through the parking west of the stadium
I rode in from Mountain View, taking the ‘northern route’ through Centennial and Sunnyvale Baylands Park/Baylands Trail/San Thomas Aquino. This was a beautiful ride, a full 30 minutes on separated bike trails and adjoining the baylands. Went back out the same way (lights required, but pedestrians on the trail moved out of the way very nicely) via a short Tasman stretch (traffic closed there, ton of pedestrians leaving at once so patience is required).
That was dream easy. From the north, I highly recommend this route, very relaxed, no crazy drivers to contend with.
The stadium folks really haven’t figured out what a bicycle is yet. The security folks mostly tried to help, but had contradictory information. (A lot of it was loosely correct.) From the north San Thomas Aquino brings you right to the ‘back’ entrance, Gates E/F, where I heard the bicycle parking was near the far-away main entrance. So I tried chaining to a fence in the TV van area — the security folks really didn’t like that.
Second try was to try getting to where there were other bikes _inside_ security. Bringing bikes through a security detector, and passing my helmet and wallet around the gate while my entire bike and its rear pack went through, was kinda weird. I don’t think the handheld detector they waved around was doing much either… So thanks to the nice and relatively small crowds at that gate, this worked.
(All the following may be wrong by the next event: To do this, we used the set of 4 stand-alone security gates, off to the right of the main group of entrances at Gates E/F. Then the 2 ‘will call’ security gates in the left of that group are the ones to use, even if you have a ticket. After locking your bike you walk around to your right to find the more main entrance.)
The one spot with all the bikes was tiny, there were probably 60 bikes in a 20-bike area by 7:20. There were a number of other areas inside security that looked like they had the potential for bike storage/racks, but that may be too enlightened, we’ll see.
For my money, the two best options from the north are bicycling, or getting dropped off. Both were reasonably fast and easy for most folks, from what I heard.
How long after an event is the trail closed?
I really appreciate the trip reports, everybody. I clearly need to update these bike directions to the stadium. No valet parking, bring your own lock, ushers and security know nothing, know the route in and out beforehand, and the bike parking is at the east side of the stadium. Did I get the gist of it all? Is there anything I’ve missed?
Santa Clara PD told us that the trail would not open until 11:00 p.m. They said that a fire rig was staged on the trail due to the Great America fireworks, or for stadium emergencies (?).
You might also clarify that although it isn’t technically “valet” parking, there is an attendant, and she did make sure we had a key to our locks.
Also, let folks know that no backpacks, purses, etc., are allowed in the stadium. The mass of people trying to reclaim their bags after the event was horrendous.
BTW, really appreciated the information you did post.
I do wonder if anyone tried to take VTA bus or light rail with their bikes.
@BobK Thanks again Bob. I did talk to one couple riding from the stadium on a folding Bike Friday tandem that they arrived via a very packed light rail train, and then had problems finding access to the STA trail from Tasman.
Why could they not have used the Hetch Hetchy right away to get from the creek trail to the ease side? Would that be outside the security perimeter? Almost the whole approach would then be on trails vs meandering through that neighborhood.
Did they normally close the trail in the past during Great America fireworks?
Best of intentions, but need a complete rework on strategy and different people to execute traffic in and out. It was a disaster on Hwy 101 and Great America at 12:30 and even more so after the game. It’s manageable, but the 49ers will need to put a lot more resources and get the right people to help.
Who is pushing the “perimeter security?”
Is this some 9/11 mandate from the NFL ?
Can bikes carry major c4 explosives?
My guess is it’s partially that and partially something else.
That trail can easily be opened and put an enormous bike valet right there.
And add 3 more for people coming from all different directions.
Most people that bike can come in/out of from each “true” bike valet and then walk to the stadium. Restrooms and other amenities there are a good touch too.
Perhaps a bike mechanic as well!
Instead they’ve forced bikes to mix with cars which increases safety concerns as well as not making anyone other than die hard cyclists want to ride!
This is recoverable to a point, but there’s not much time and 2x the amount of people coming to the 49ers games are going to ensure that the fans are going to leave with a bad taste in their mouth, no matter how nice the stadium is. We’d better be winning, as that usually blunts most people’s anger.
To clarify, by the “3 more” I meant to put “true” bike valets at the far corners of all sides of the stadium.
Mixing cars, bikes, pedestrians, etc is just asking for trouble.
Good attempt by VTA, but they as well need to rethink their strategy and especially their tactics.
Seems to me the best thing that they should consider is using a huge number of buses to load people onto the buses and ship them in different directions to simply get them away from the stadium.
To Baypointe is the obvious answer, where trains could also be added to bring people to Winchester and Alum Rock.
— logistically difficult to park trains but doable
To west: push to Fair Oaks station
— how? consider blocking off the right lane and ONLY allowing it for buses and bikes!
(yes, that’s right buses and bikes
They need to find another place to park the trains.
Why they haven’t use the north side “middle” of Patrick Henry (west of stadium)
A road like Vista Montana (east of stadium)
could be used to “bank” a ton of cars that can be used at each event.
It’s challenging, but not impossible to make this work.
After all, VTA has a ridiculous amount of excess inventory of train cars,
fully 1/3 more than what they should have.
This is the time to use them!
Granted this makes routing the cars on short headways, but with current technology, this should not be an issue.
This is a chance for VTA to make money and recoup their investments somewhat quickly and a way to get people to be exposed to how amazing light rail transit can be!
Bike and Bus only lanes are the only way to get buses and bikes out of there… seeing all of the buses queue up forever is an old school way to think about it.
Get a fluids engineer to help VTA… it’s about flow… we need people out of the stadium FAST and push em out thru the system.
Much of what I said may not work for a few reasons:
1) $$$$ and no time to do light rail work
2) Single track in Mt View and Campbell
3) Planning/zoning/CEQA/Public input timelines
So quick needs to be temporary like
1) cones for bus/bike lanes
2) get people that know how to direct traffic better
3) gigantic “true” bike valets
4) MUST open the San Tomas Aquino Trail
and my fave:
5) incent people to ride to/from the stadium –
treat them as the eco heroes that they are
there can be many ways to do this.
It would be interesting to run a cost comparison between paying companies
to use their parking lots,the cost to run those and to see if the 49ers do make a lot of money, a little money or if perhaps they break even.
This would help find out the pain point between upset fans and the cost to keep them happy and lead the league in not just victories but in ride share (and smiles) to and from the game!
Agree with the above suggestions; as for incentives, I’ve seen places reward cyclists by identifying them as such when they present their helmet. Also encourages helmet use!
How about $10 in stadium vendor credit as part of the valet bike parking ticket. It’s the equivalent of a free beer for biking. Since most people will then buy more than that from the vendor, this might increase overall revenue, as well as being positive promotion for the stadium and of the bicycle’s ability to actually get people to the stadium in a reasonable way.
Do they let you carry in your bike helmet, or do you have to leave that with your bike?
I rode up the San Thomas Aquino trail, and was surprised to see it blocked off at Agnew rd. The event staff blocking the path were clueless. I don’t see why the trail couldn’t be opened up all the way to the parking lot by the Flight Deck roller coaster.
also – the bike parking was in a horrible location at the Light Rail exit. They should put one on Tasman for the cyclists coming from the north, and a second one by the Flight Deck roller coaster.
For those that came from the Northern route (Bay Trail -> STA trail), was there not a bike rack by Red Lot 6 – supposed to be one there and I heard near the tennis courts and the garage. From the sounds of it, there wasn’t.
Also, after the game in the dark, did people get back onto STA by going past the tennis courts, across the bridge and onto STA trail to head north?
I’m definitely going to bike to the game and want to make sure I can bike on STA trail at night (with a bike light, of course).
@sl Here’s a photo of the rack by the tennis courts. It’s at the entrance to the parking garage from Centennial, on the right side of the driveway. pic.twitter.com/AqEM78Pc3S
Part of the reason for this chaos is that the “perimeter security” wasn’t a factor during stadium planning. It is required of the event management company ultimately by DHS as a result of the Boston Marathon bombings (not 9/11 – you were close Scott but that would have been known during planning – and if you recall bicycles were prohibited near airports for a while under the theory that tubes could be used as pipe bombs).
This is great information, thanks all, and keep the (productive) comments coming!
Hi there – thanks for all this information, it’s very helpful. I’m working the game Sunday and am trying to figure out the best way to get there and back from Albany.
Will the San Tomas Aquino path still be closed or have they realized that this is ridiculous? Have you had contact with anyone, and/or do you have a petition to ask that it be reopened?
My tentative plan is Amtrak there, bike to Fremont BART home.
Hi Amy, the trail will be closed for all large events at the stadium.
From Amtrak Great America that won’t matter – bike or walk access from there to the stadium doesn’t use the San Tomas Aquino trail. You can lock up at the station itself if you want, or use the bike paddock in “Red Lot 1,” or bike racks inside the security perimeter of the stadium if you get there early enough (they fill up).
It’s about 15 miles on sometimes challenging roads between the stadium and Levi’s Stadium. If you change your mind about biking afterwards, VTA will have bike-rack equipped express buses to BART. Fare is $4.
I’d love to hear how the train ride on game day goes. I’m especially interested in how busy the bike car is.
BTW, those anti-dooring clings are cool.
Wouldn’t the sidewalk along Tasman in front of the stadium be a greater risk than the creek trail, since its about three times close to the stadium and plaza. Is access to this sidewalk from outside the stadium perimeter also restricted before/during/after the game until 11pm? To be consistent, shouldn’t they also stop anyone from accessing the Tasman south side sidewalk when Tasman Drive is closed, unless someone has a ticket, or at least for those wearing non-clear backpacks. Boston was a packpack delivery, right.
Also I hear they are handing out clear bags. Is there a ‘clear bag only’ perimeter that lies outside the standard security perimeter (a security perimeter integrity perimeter)? Are you only allowed to board VTA with clear bags for example? And if not, wouldn’t that be a security risk also.
It seems like security restrictions outside the official security perimeter should be consistent, and not selective and discriminatory.
Absurd that they’re closing the trail all the way to Agnews. That’s my primary approach. Was this part of the planning process, or something random afterwards? The Niners do not own the trail.
> Wouldn’t the sidewalk along Tasman in front of the stadium be a greater risk than the creek trail, since its about three times close to the stadium and plaza. Is access to this sidewalk from outside the stadium perimeter also restricted before/during/after the game until 11pm?
I hate to be the mansplainer for this since I hate the policy, but here goes: The “security perimeter” is the fenced off portion where you have to get past metal detectors. Those metal detectors are set up between the parking lot and the San Tomas Aquino Trail. Hence, the trail between about Tasman and the north end of the stadium is within this zone.
The security zone on the Tasman side of the stadium is closer in and smaller, probably because entry from that side is for those using VIP parking and public transportation.
“The Niners do not own the trail.”
This is my beef too. The STAC trail was paid for with our tax dollars and is a public entity.
It seems they have no intention of even discussing the subject of the trail closure from Agnew to Hetch Hetchy, or even answering why they are not even following their own TMOP which did not close this section, or even willing to discuss mitigation (because it was not even in their now finalized EIR).
In order to make up for their 700 million cost over-run, they will likely be pushing to get the stadium booked as much as possible, not just for a few games, which will effectively be a permanent and continuous closer of this trail section for the majority of users who only use it on the weekends anyway.
The general precedent that has been set here is that if any business can obtain property on both sides of a creek trail, they can then make the case that the tail is a security issue to their business and unilaterally close not only the part of the trail that goes between their two properties, but also up to a mile away from their business. I’m sure many business would like annex (for free) adjacent creek trail segments and close them off so only their employees and guests can use the trail. So which trail segment will be next?
To me, this surprise land grab and the lack of response to questions is just too much, and steps over the line. Many people fought long and hard to get this trail and others funded and constructed, only to see access disappear overnight. I was hopeful that SVBC would start some discussion with them, but all appearance indicate they have zero intention of doing so. I think a peaceful protest is more than warranted at this point. Note that most all significant gains in bike infrastructure world wide have only resulted after some level of protest. Maybe a “mass mechanical” halfway between Agnew and Hetch Hetchy, just prior to the trail closing time. Oops, the _____ part of my bike fell off and I’m having trouble finding it in the grass beside the trail, plus I need to wait for tools to reattach it, and in the meantime I sprained by ankle while looking for it so can’t really walk that well.
I’m not sure they are looking for more bad press after the pupply kicking incident, and a protest might at least get some real answers from them.
I’ve heard that SVBC will not be getting involved because they are some sort of “business partner” with Levi’s for the valet bike parking. (This is unconfirmed 3rd party info. I will change this post if someone hears otherwise from SVBC.)
There is Complimentary bicycle valet service at Levi’s Stadium in RED Lot 1 and GREEN Lot 1. Bicycle valet will be open 2 hours prior to the event through 1 hour upon completion of the Levi’s® Stadium event. Bicyclist that want to take the San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail Northbound from Agnew Road you must physically have a ticket to the event to access this portion of the trail; no will call. Enter the gate and head north until you almost reach Gate C and then turn left and then go left again at Media Parking. Keep going down the fenced in area south past the Great America 6 sign that is above until you come to the end of the fenced in area and see the Bicycle Corral in GREEN Lot 1. Look for The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition Signs.
Non-ticketed bicyclists will be rerouted via Agnew Road, Lakeshore Drive, Gianera Street, the VTA Great America Train Station Parking lot, Stars and Stripes Drive and service road/trail along the rear of the Tasman Parking Garage, and then back to the San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail. All bicyclists arriving from the Tasman side use the Bicycle Corral right next to the Bag Check in RED Lot 1. Look for The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition Signs.