SAP Center Mayoral Forum
April 27, 2022

On April 27, Sharks Sports & Entertainment hosted a mayoral forum, featuring candidates Cindy Chavez, Dev Davis, Matt Mahan and Raul Peralez. The forum was moderated by San Jose Downtown Association Executive Director Scott Knies and also included Sharks Sports & Entertainment President Jonathan Becher.

The goal of the forum was to allow the mayoral candidates to share their vision and plan for how they plan to protect SAP Center during the upcoming massive transformation of SAP Center’s neighborhood, including Google’s Downtown West development and the large-scale expansion of Diridon Station for BART and high speed rail.

You can watch the entire event below.

Background

The area surrounding SAP Center is scheduled to undergo an incredible urban transformation over the coming two decades through development that will double the population of downtown San Jose by 2040.

Diridon Station Area Plan (DSAP)

Despite this massive influx of workers, residents and transit riders coming to the area in future years, plans are being made by the City of San Jose to substantially reduce the capacity of the street network for automobiles trying to access the Diridon Station area.

Additionally, development projects of this size and scope will result in street closures and traffic delays during construction – potentially for a decade or longer.

To make matters worse, most of these large-scale development projects are not planning to provide nearly enough parking spaces needed to serve their own customers, which is reflected in the projects’ own environmental documents.

In the case of BART, High Speed Rail and the expansion of transit services at Diridon Station, NO additional parking is currently being planned for the tens of thousands of new, daily transit riders that are expected to pass through the station. This plan is in direct conflict with decades of examples showing the need for ample parking to support regional BART stations.

In the case of Downtown West and other private developments within the Diridon Station area, a substantially lower than average number of parking spaces are planned to be provided.

Most disconcerting is that a large portion the existing shared parking within the Diridon Station area, much of which is used on SAP Center event days, is slated to be eliminated in the near future to make way for the new developments. Here is a closer look at each of the issues that SAP Center patrons should be concerned about. 

Construction Mitigation

Diridon Station Area Plan (DSAP)

The map above displays the size and scope of the proposed development projects that are planned for the area surrounding SAP Center. Many of these projects will be under construction concurrently for many years at a time.

Google’s Downtown West project (light blue) will occupy parcels to the North, South and East of SAP Center. Additional development by Google has been proposed for SAP Center Parking Lots A, B & C (blue with yellow stripes) at a future date.

The BART extension project (dark blue lines) will tunnel directly under Santa Clara Street, with a BART station and construction staging area located directly across the street from SAP Center (yellow).

Additionally, private development projects (pink) are planned in the surrounding neighborhood, including in the area located further south on this map.

These projects are expected to have an impact on neighboring streets, affecting several of the primary access routes for patrons who use automobiles to arrive and depart SAP Center for events. 

Street Closures/Lane Reduction

As you can see in the examples below, the primary arrival and departure streets for guests to reach SAP Center are Barack Obama Boulevard from Interstate 280 and Santa Clara Street from Highway 87 and Interstate 880.

Each of these primary routes is scheduled to have a reduction in capacity, decreasing the automobile access from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction. 

Diridon Station Area Plan (DSAP)
Diridon Station Area Plan (DSAP)

Primary egress routes will be facing the same lane closures as when arriving to the Diridon Area. In addition, existing secondary vehicle egress routes from SAP Center on Montgomery and Cahill Streets will be closed as shown below.

Diridon Station Area Plan (DSAP)
Diridon Station Area Plan (DSAP)

Parking

Sharks Sports & Entertainment has always been an advocate for carpooling and for shared-use parking. Because most events at SAP Center occur in the evenings or on weekends, parking dedicated solely for the use of the arena is not necessary.

However, despite the expected staggering increase in the number of vehicles in the Diridon Station area, current plans call for a completely inadequate supply of new parking to support these projects. Furthermore, most of the existing parking inventory that is currently available for SAP Center patrons will be eliminated.

If each of the planned projects were to provide sufficient parking to meet the demand their own project is expected to create, there would be ample supply to also satisfy the needs of SAP Center guests.

Diridon Station Area Plan (DSAP)

Summary and Final Thoughts

If none of these planned large development projects or the expansion of the transportation network was scheduled to occur, the changes being proposed to the street network and reduction in available parking in the Diridon Station area would be extremely concerning.

But when you consider that these changes are being proposed in tandem with the massive increase in employees, residents and transit riders who are scheduled to descend into the region, the situation becomes alarming.

The projects planned for the Diridon Station area surrounding SAP Center are expected to drastically increase the number of office workers, residents, and transit riders to the area over the next decade and beyond.

Despite an increase in transportation options that the redeveloped Diridon Station will provide, there will still be many areas in the Bay Area that will not be served by the new transit facilities. Thus, the majority of arena guests will still be reliant on their automobiles to bring them to SAP Center. This situation raises numerous questions:

 - How will guests get to SAP Center who live in Morgan Hill? Gilroy? South San Jose? Campbell? West San Jose? Los Gatos? Or outside the Bay Area?

 - How do the thousands of daily transit riders who plan on utilizing the new transportation options at Diridon Station get to the station? Where do they park when they arrive?

 - Google’s Downtown West project is expected to bring an estimated 30,000 workers. Even if 2/3 of those employees (a staggering percentage) walk or take other transit modes to work, where will the other 10,000 park each day?

These issues will not only impact SAP Center and its guests – they are regional issues that need to be addressed with common sense solutions.

We encourage the residents of San Jose and all of our valued guests to share their concerns with their local government representatives and factor their responses into your decisions for the upcoming local elections in November.

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