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Traffic, already a nightmare, is about to get much worse


Petaluma in a pickle

Developers spent an estimated $50,000 to torpedo Janice Cader-Thompson from the Petaluma City Council and replace her with someone who would play ball. As far as traffic is concerned, Petaluma is grinding its gears in reverse. Read Cader-Thompson's observation of a recent City Council vote. These words originally appeared on Petaluma Tomorrow, a Yahoo group.

Why should the city continue wasting the tax payers money with the
General Plan Process? The major general plan amendments on land-use
decisions will have been made before the plan is completed. Last night the
council supported the Redwood Technology project without traffic mitigation
financing. If the developer doesn't pay for the increase traffic who does?
Us the tax-payers in Petaluma. In April of 2001 I requested that the Old
Redwood Highway over-crossing be included in the widening of 101. The
majority on the council, Healy, O'Brien, Moynihan, Maguire and Thompson
refused to add this project to the list; yet Mike Kerns has added to phase
three of the widening of 101 new on and off ramps north of Old Redwood

In Petaluma it's the tax payer who will be asked to pay to fix our
street and pay for the widening of existing over-crossing and new freeway
interchanges and cross-town connectors. We can't afford to sit back and
allow the developers and the majority on city council to continue raping our
community and sticking the cost to us. These council members ran on NO
new taxes and fixing our streets. In less than three months they've approved
two general plan amendments and three major development projects with total
disregard for the publics opinion. Last night the public was stuck with the
cost of widening Old Redwood Highway at the cost of at least 24 million
dollars. Next on the list is Rainier at the cost of one hundred million
dollars with NO financing mechanism except us the taxpayer. Again the tax
payer pays and the developer benefits. The road builders also benefit
because the tax payer money goes directly into their pockets with the
contracts to build these roads. Is anyone interested is trying to stop
the raping of our town? You can't sit back and hope that the next election
will change the direction. Once these projects are approved there is not
reversing them unless someone is willing to pony up money to sue the city
for the inadequacy of the EIR's. Within a few months all the major project
will be approved. What do people want to do?


Click here to see the group's page

Traffic all over Sonoma County is not just bad, it's intolerable. Long communte times don't just waste time, they pollute the air, create a racket, cause expensive accidents, waste stupendous amounts of fuel and—most recently—snarled communtes breed a whole new type of mental illness known as "road rage".

So what are city and county officials going to do about it? Why, pump more cars on the road—Duuuh!

Planners as far back as 1984 figured out that more automobiles, trucks, vans, motorcycles, SUVs, and tractor trailers would be on the roads in the future. In fact, Penngrove's Specific Plan of that year allowed for lots more traffic by the year 2000.

But when 2000 rolled around we discovered that planners did not plan ahead too well. They had underestimated by a whopping 300%. That's right. Three-hundred percent more automobiles, trucks, vans, motorcycles, SUVs, and tractor-trailers now clog our roads, create traffic jams, belch cancer-causing soot into the air, and burn up expensive petrohemicals that we buy from dangerous people who demand American treasure and blood.

Throwing Fuel on the fire

So already, right now, our road systems groan under the weight of exceeded capacity. The solution to over capacity, you might think, would be to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads. But that's not what elected officials are going to do. They have made it clear that they intend to add more vehicles to the mix.

Look at Adobe Road. Every year since 1985, about 700 to 800 new vehicles join the traffic rumbling down that road. Think about this. Every year, almost a thousand more cars have crammed on to that country two-lane road.

In 1998, planners studied the intersection of Adobe Road where it ties into Main Street and Petaluma Hill Road and figured that the average wait at the light was a frustrating three minutes. But get this: The same rush hour wait in 2005 they estimated would be eight minutes even if there were no growth in Rohnert Park, Cotati and SSU. Obviously, there has been considerable growth in all of these affected areas so traffic is worse today than planners ever dreamed.

And it's about to get much worse.

A new business park in Petaluma (McDowell and Old Redwood Highway), the Kawana Spring mini-metropolis in Santa Rosa, the gigantism infecting SSU, the annexation of farmland by Rohnert Park for its 4,500 houses and the mega-huge shopping mall (five million square feet of it), the religious event center at Roberts and Petaluma Hill Road for 60 drug addicts and countless sports fans, and the $40 million Green center devoted to making loud noises out-of-doors will all add to traffic woes—bigtime.

Follow the money

Who is this helping? Does it help you to have more and more vehicles on existing roads? Does it help the people who live next to roads and highways? Do more cars help people who communte? Ask yourself: who benefits from this?

If you want to know who is behind all this unmitigated destruction then—in the now immortal words of Watergate's "Deepthroat"—"Follow the money!"



A little-traveled road in Sonoma County.


Did you know that Rohnert Park is planning to cram an ADDITIONAL 70,000 cars a day down Petaluma Hill Road?

Like past estimates, the 70,000 additional vehicles a day, is most likely an underestimation of what will happen.

Rohnert Park's plan for 4,500 new houses and 5 million square feet of commercial space guarantees that armies of automobiles, trucks, vans, motorcycles, SUVs, and tractor trailers will be ideling right in front of you within months.

Traffic and water overuse are intimately connected

Sonoma State University supplies all it's clean water needs by operating 2 wells year round. The campus has been using about 59,000,000 gallons of groundwater per year, that number is now increasing as a result of the newly expanded student housing and related facilities. In 1999, as a result of broken pipelines and leaking concrete storage tanks the campus pumped approximately 90,000,000 of groundwater. The campus currently has no access to Sonoma County Water Agency Aqueduct Water (Surface Water), but it could be obtained using Rohnert Park's pipeline infrastructure.

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