Sonoma County has 1,382 miles of roads, many of them scenic.
But only 200 miles are funded, in part due to the county’s low population (which is used to calculate the region’s gas tax allocation), in part because of ongoing budget problems.
Two years ago several concerned residents formed Save Our Sonoma Roads, a group aimed at lobbying Sonoma County to channel more funds into decrepit county roadways.
They’ve already had some success.
After a series of meetings with the group, the Board of Supervisors agreed to spend an additional $6.5 million on roads, which will improve about 13 miles of county roads. (That includes Chileno Valley Road in West Petaluma and Snyder Lane in Rohnert Park.)
But SOS Roads calculates that another $25 to $50 million is needed to address all the pot-holed, alligator-skinned streets that give Sonoma drivers (and visitors) so many headaches.
They say the money can be raised by a variety of options, including:
- reducing all county employees by 5 percent,
- extending Measure M, the quarter-cent sales tax approved in 2004 and reallocating the percentage spent on road maintenance,
- charging a $20 a year vehicle tax,
- increasing the tax on lodging in county hotels from 9 percent to 12 percent.
To collect opinions, SOS Roads has created a survey, the results of which they promise to release to the public. Take the survey by clicking the link above.
What do you think? What’s the best way to increase funding to county roads?