As I ponder what to entertain you with this week in the Soapbox, I had a discussion with my “main muse” who will remain a secret! He and I discussed the craziness of Summerfield Road Improvements project in the City of Santa Rosa, that NARROWS the road and adds more bike lane width and pedestrian access via painting and striping mainly.
Hmmm-I did not know this was a problem, so I started to go back and review what caused this “road deletion” being funded by our pavement preservation fund. IF you want to see the Town Hall Meeting regarding this project, click here- City of Santa Rosa Summerfield Road Bike and Pedestrian Improvements May 27, 2021 – YouTube
If you actually go to the video, you might go to “43:05” and hear our good friend Keith Woods’ comments and question. Keith’s main question was “who decided this was necessary?”. Mr. Woods cited the 3,000,000 auto trips that use this section of road, and the fact that there is only a handful of speeding incidents and/or accidents. Most of the speakers offer anecdotal comments that Summerfield Road is a “drag strip”. Our friend Rob Sprinkle from the City of Santa Rosa, answered Keith’s question as to “who decided this was necessary” with a comment that there have been, over the years, a series of comments made by residents that complain about excessive speed of autos and danger to bike riders and pedestrians on this stretch of road.
This Summerfield Road stretch does not seem to be in dire need of traffic calming and a narrowing of the street in order to slow down traffic from my viewpoint. It may be in need of more enforcement of traffic laws by police!
I don’t know what prompted folks to write in and complain about Summerfield Road, but I am sure they have their reasons. Many of the public comments had to do with cyclist concerns, which would lead me to believe that a coordinated effort of commenting might have been organized by a pro-cycling group. I am all for bicycle safety and I ride that area quite often over the years. I have never felt unsafe on my rides in that area (any more than any other roadways in Santa Rosa). I am of the opinion that there are much higher priorities in the City Designed for Living than Summerfield Road.
But, as we know, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. I guess the “saving grace” of this project is that the traffic changes are largely being done with paint, and can be changed back during an emergency for a wider roadway that would be advisable.
It makes me wonder if some of our most famous City of Santa Rosa residents could have envisioned their “City Designed for Living” being morphed into the “City Designed for Not Driving”.
Out of respect for our upcoming Car Show at Julliard Park, which has a very nice museum that borders its northern boundary, I have included this historical clip to drive home my point- Believe It or Not!, Robert Ripley, Famous Santa Rosan… Part 2 – YouTube
Ripley was one of the more famous residents of Santa Rosa. I wonder if he had a car?
That’s all folks!