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Traffic...in the Name of Progress

Starting next week, rail crossings around town will be closed to give SMART a chance to repair them.

If you think getting across town is a headache now, just wait until next week.

Starting Tuesday, September 11, the city will close major intersections throughout Petaluma to allow the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) to upgrade all five of our railroad crossings.

The first intersection impacted will be Corona Road, scheduled to be closed from next Tuesday to Thursday. After that, it will be the Payran Street crossing and South Point Boulevard the week after. Closure dates are still tentative and will happen throughout September. Click here for up-to-date information about the closures.

But you can expect even bigger traffic delays when the Washington Street crossing--one of the city's busiest intersections-- is closed.

“We know it will be an inconvenience and we want to get in, do our work and get out of everyone’s way as soon as possible,” said Keith Parkalson, project manager for Stacy and Witbeck, the Alameda-based construction firm building the new commuter rail line.

The old wooden crossing will be replaced with smoother concrete panels, according to SMART.

Also next week, work begins on the Petaluma Boulevard "road diet" project that will reduce Petaluma Boulevard between E and Washington from four to two lanes. It is expected to be completed by the end of October in order to not impede holiday shopping at downtown stores.

Lori Jensen Gabriel September 06, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Wish i didnt work accross town and have to go accross for baseball! It is too much work going on at the same time!!!
Don Lewis September 06, 2012 at 11:15 PM
I'd be curious to know who signed off on the idea that ALL major construction to the roads in downtown Petaluma be done at the EXACT same time. I can't imagine there's not an easier way to do all these things rather than all at once. Completely ridiculous. Currently there's an on-ramp being built at the Washington St. overpass, road work being done for the Target shopping center in front of the swim center, road work from the corner or Washington/Payran to the Whole Foods parking lot and now this. Horrible, horrible planning.
John September 07, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I think the train is a good idea, and the tracks need to be inspected and repaired before any trains can run. So it's a pain, but it has to happen. I do not understand for the life of me why the city wants to condense Petaluma Blvd from E to Washington. Isnt that road already packed enough during the commute hours, we have to further bottleneck it? Is that why our roads are a disgrace, yet we have a nice wall and palm trees by the grocery outlet. This city's leaders are a joke. You know what we need, more that another art fair or some planter boxes? Better roads and 2 more ways across town, to circumvent the cluster @#$% that has become of simply crossing town. I suggest a bridge from Caufield at the BLVD south by the onramp, over to caufield at Lakeville. A simple bridge would solve alot of traffic issues. Another one is from Rainier at McDowell over to the BLVD. A simple road would make it that much easier to get from one side of town to another, and would also connect businesses and help create commerce. Wake up Petaluma! This is not Danville, or Blackhawk, it is a growing bay area city. The farming industry isn't what it once was, so growth must occur in another way. You can't stop it.
John September 07, 2012 at 03:43 PM
In case you didn't realize, this city's elected officials are a complete joke. The area's well to do's, full of cheese and whine. They have no clue as to how to make a city work, and instead of cutting back some programs in town, they opted to scrap the planning division instead. Now it's contracted out to a civil planning firm in S.F. Rather than pay 3 or so engineers/planners. The people at that firm don't live in Petaluma, and don't know what Petaluma needs, like it's leaders. This firm is simply hired and builds to order. It is not grass roots or organic as it could relate to Petaluma. That is why all this work is being done at one time, because they could care less. Payran and Washington have zero geographic significance to them.
Gael Adair Grove September 07, 2012 at 05:07 PM
I'm wondering why this work can't be done at night?? I can't even get into my office parking lot, nor can my clients with out going around in a circle!
Adorabelle September 07, 2012 at 05:09 PM
John, You hit the nail on the head when it comes to condensing Petaluma Blvd. When they did that on the opposite of the boulevard I can honestly say it was hell getting from Lakeville/Petalumb Blvd to Washington and considering the majority of the traffic is from Washington towards D Street and beyond I am surprised that it is going down to 2 lanes. The same thing happened on North McDowell Blvd just past McDowell Elementary. They condense that down to 1 lane each direction and let me tell you it sometimes takes 5 minutes to get from the off street that I live on to get on N. McDowell.....in either direction, especially when the bus stops right in the middle of the 1 lane road! It's true, the city counsel is a joke and a half. They start off like most politicians by having good intensions but inevitably those intensions go away and greed, or in this case stupidity, takes over.

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