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Petaluma Boulevard Improvements to Get Under Way This Month

The work will include restriping lanes from two to one in each direction, replacing pedestrian ramps and adding new parking

 

The plan to convert Petaluma Boulevard from four lanes to two through downtown will finally get underway this month, but break by November 1 in order to not interfere with the holiday shopping season.

The so-called “road-diet” was set to start earlier this year, but was delayed after the contractor, Ghilotti Bros., had a problem obtaining the necessary materials on time. That means the project, aimed at improving traffic flow through between East Washington and D Street, will now be broken up into two phases, although the delay will not cost the city additional money.

In the first phase, workers will replace pedestrian ramps, add motorcycle parking and restriping, which will reduce the total lanes, but add a central turnout lane. They will then stop for the holiday shopping season, as promised to downtown merchants.

“We will let the Downtown Business Association and others know of any schedule changes and we are very aware of their sensitivity to the holiday season,” said Larry Zimmer, Capital Improvements Manager for the city.

Come spring, the project will resume and include electric work, placing of new signal poles and mast arms. It is estimated to be completed by June 2013.

mikeg55 October 02, 2012 at 02:08 PM
After all work is complete, it will be interesting to see if road diet means traffic congestion. Supporters will say ride your bike, walk, park at the outskirts. But if that doesn't happen, will people just avoid downtown? It will be interesting to see, or rather read about here.
Claron Werner October 02, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Looks like the city is really working hard at keeping up with their self-evident mantra "Want to get around the town? Too bad!"
Goofpod October 02, 2012 at 05:01 PM
One-way blvd with angled parking out the gazoo! Come on, Petaluma, this road diet is an anorexic attitude that will hurt downtown. Look at Sebastopol: THREE lanes of unimpeded traffic flow and tons of parking. Road Diet will not make downtown more friendly for shoppers and pedestrians. Hey, I got an idea, lets add more bumps!
Bill Pink October 02, 2012 at 06:40 PM
I would REALLY like to know how it is that changing the downtown sector from two lanes to one is going to IMPROVE traffic flow. It certainly sounds to me like it will accomplish exactly the opposite. Considering it's almost impossible to get through there on a Friday or Saturday night as it is....STUPID.
ernie west October 02, 2012 at 06:57 PM
I have been wondering for years when the city is going to repave the south end of the Boulevard from D St on to the new housing development. The pavement on this main entrance to Petaluma is a disgrace.
Rayne Wolfe October 02, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Actually, isn't this just returning back to the traffic plan that we had, say 14 or so years ago? Two traffic lanes with a center turn lane will improve traffic flow. I know that because it sucked when it was changed.
Ed October 02, 2012 at 07:47 PM
so pulling out of parking stops ALL traffic in that direction...??
Karina Ioffee October 02, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Thanks, Rayne, for the clarification. The improvements will include a center turn lane.
Goofpod October 03, 2012 at 03:41 AM
South end of the Blvd. really is a disgrace. And dangerous. The first impression for people coming into town is embarrassing. And then the intentional bumps!
The Fool October 03, 2012 at 05:35 AM
I'd love to hear from a traffic engineer rather than armchair complainers. There are elements of traffic flow that are counter-intuitive. While not necessarily the same issue, condemning traffic-calming in light of the number of bike and pedestrian accidents is illogical. If you look back at the number of comments in support of increased policing for traffic offenses, clearly there is worry and concern in the town for safety. Yet, if a street includes bumps or other traffic-calming, out come the complaints. It's like the only way we'd be happy is to increase the car dependency of the city at the same time we increase the number of traffic cops. This is poor design, uneconomic and clearly visionary...of the 1950s.
Goofpod October 03, 2012 at 06:41 AM
Ever ride a bicycle over those "calming" bumps in the rain? Just a matter of time before the city is sued by a fallen cyclist. Regressive engineering, cobblestones went the way of the Edsel.
tony October 03, 2012 at 06:48 AM
I dunno, Ned. The "let's go with the IN Crowd" mentality of traffic flow engineers in the last 25 years isn't too impressive. Fadism in any design criteria is stew-pid. The traffic diet north of Washington slowed traffic, the "real" agenda of traffic engineers. Do the math. Two lanes through a light? Or four? The traffic diet south of Washington will be better for delivery semis and bobtails, and for busses, but necessarily slower for the rest of us. And I get it; get done what you can with the dollars available, but south of 'D'? How many WTF? moments from northbound traffic at D trying to merge? Southbound at Kent is already a piece of work!
TAS October 04, 2012 at 10:08 PM
The first time I ever entered Petaluma was on the S. Petaluma Blvd. exit from 101. I almost didn't want to come back here. It's very bad first impression and an embarassment to the city. When is it going to be redone?

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