On December 19th, the Petaluma City Council directed staff to apply for One Bay Area Grant-Round 2 (OBAG2) funding for the Petaluma Boulevard South Road Diet. The Council was given three possible projects to consider and prioritize for applying for OBAG2 funding and the Road Diet ranked as their number one priority project! SCBC attended the meeting and spoke in favor of the project, alongside several other project supporters who packed the Council Chambers.
SCBC has been closely coordinating with a group of local Petaluma bike/pedestrian advocates and members of the Petaluma Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC) to urge the City to prioritize and apply for OBAG2 funding for this important safety enhancement which has been long sought by members of the local community. The “road diet” will reduce the number of traffic lanes between D Street and McNear Avenue from two lanes in each direction to one lane, with a continuous turn lane in between. It will connect to the existing road diet treatment (and a portion currently under construction) that runs from north of Washington Street to D Street.
There are many benefits to the road diet, including more space for bicycles (and for parallel parking), reduced traffic speeds and traffic calming, and a reduction of the roadway crossing distance for pedestrians and cyclists. The wider traffic lanes will also reduce the potential for cyclists being doored and will reduce side-swipe accidents, which are common in the narrow downtown stretch. It will also allow through traffic to continue without delay because turning vehicles will be able to use the center turning lane.
Note that there is no guarantee that the project will actually be selected to receive OBAG2 funding, which is very competitive; however, the fact that the City has ranked the Petaluma Boulevard South Road Diet Project among their top priority projects is a monumental step in moving this very important project forward. Please be sure to thank the members of the Petaluma City Council when you see them and ask that they continue to support the road diet.