Mixed Reaction to Traffic, Transportation in 49ers Levi's Stadium Regular Season Opener

After months of planning and weeks of preseason dress rehearsals, Sunday night's 49ers Levi's Stadium regular season opener was the real traffic test for the new Santa Clara stadium.

After a disappointing 28-20 loss to the Chicago Bears, it appeared the amount of planning, practice, and preparation into stadium transportation plans paid off coming into the stadium.

Many 49ers fans came in huge crowds in a variety of ways--on foot, on the bus, by VTA, by car, and some rode their bikes. Others hired someone to do the pedaling for them.

Everyone's main goal seemed to be avoiding the traffic, and because they did, traffic was not bad.

"Traffic was perfect," said one fan, who did not reveal her name. "We zipped right in, no problem at all."

With CHP officers at every intersection, getting into the stadium became a non-issue.

And people who took VTA to Levi's Stadium also had no complaints.

"Fast, sustainable, and easy," said another fan, who also did not reveal his name.

Those who did drive seemed to come early, with fans trickling into the parking lots over several hours. If anything, the only traffic jams to speak of were on the sidewalks.

Justin and Bianca Powell rode their bikes from Milpitas.

"We wanted some exercise, and it's close, so why not try it? And it's free," Bianca Powell said. "I think this is the best option."

For drivers leaving the stadium after the game, it was a different story.

Some people traveling by car told NBC Bay Area they were at a standstill for about an hour in the Levi's Stadium parking lot.

"Really frustrating," a passenger said. "We lost the game, and now we're sitting in the parking lot, and we've been here over 45 minutes." "And we were parked three stalls up."

Many drivers and passengers leaving the game also said they were frustrated with the lack of signage and officials directing people toward the exits. NBC Bay Area cameras even showed some cars going over grass and curbs to get out of the mess--in front of pedestrians walking on the sidewalk.

"They have no pedestrian walkways," another passenger said. "People are darting in-and-out of traffic over there. We almost got hit on the way out."

"This is the worst," one driver said. "There's no direction. No signs. No one directing any traffic."

Others were frustrated the gridlock came on a night where many have work and school Monday morning.

"Very frustrating," another driver said. "We have to go to work tomorrow, so this is not good."

The one tweak was handicapped parking, according to parking staff. Several attendants said it had filled completely by about 2 p.m., and they had to turn handicapped fans around to go find other parking.

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