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Petaluma Dealing with SMART-Related Traffic Challenges

Starting this week, rail crossings around Petaluma will be closed to give SMART a chance to repair them.

Novato is keeping an eye on Petaluma as it deals with construction tied to the North Bay's commuter rail line.

Starting Tuesday, Petaluma will close major intersections to allow the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit to upgrade all five railroad crossings.

The first intersection impacted will be Corona Road, scheduled to be closed from next Tuesday to Thursday. After that, it will be the Payran Street crossing and South Point Boulevard the week after. Closure dates are still tentative and will happen throughout September. Click here for up-to-date information about the closures.

But you can expect even bigger traffic delays when the Washington Street crossing — one of the city's busiest intersections — is closed.

“We know it will be an inconvenience and we want to get in, do our work and get out of everyone’s way as soon as possible,” said Keith Tarkalson, project manager for Stacy and Witbeck, the Alameda-based construction firm building the new commuter rail line.

The old wooden crossing will be replaced with smoother concrete panels, according to SMART.

Also next week, work begins on the Petaluma Boulevard "road diet" project that will reduce Petaluma Boulevard between E and Washington from four to two lanes. It is expected to be completed by the end of October in order to not impede holiday shopping at downtown stores.

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Al Dugan September 11, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Well Sonoma, this is your train we are just are of the payment plan in Novato and Marin. There is a saying "you wanted a puppy, you got a puppy.". The only problem is we also get your puppy.
Rick Ratowski September 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM
I've never heard that saying.
Rico September 11, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Road diet project ? I never heard that saying either. What is the purpose of reducing a section of road from four lanes down to two ? Petaluma has always had the switching yard for the NWP trains. They are used to trains coming through blasting their air horns at 3:00 am, and the trains sitting at the yard idling while the clank and bang de-coupling and re-coupling train cars for a few hours until about 6:00 am. Many Petaluma old timers love to be awakened at 3:00 am, and they say all the loud sounds of trains are music to their ears. Those are the people that can't wait for the old train lines to be "rejuvinated" in Petaluma, and are the people who helped Sonoma county overwhelmingly approve SMART and the freight trains. Those puppies sure are loud!
Roger September 16, 2012 at 04:51 PM
I saw developers in suits walk the around the cow pasture at Redwood and Wood Hollow near the San Marin SMART station last week. Must be exciting for them to know SB375 allows them to get fast permits for anything with a little dense affordable housing and no EIR required. I hate to see Novato's limited commercial land re-zoned to dense residential just to avoid CEQA. But the law is the law and we need to respect it, while working to get better lawmakers into office that care more about tax payers than unions.

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