By LORI A. CARTER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A community meeting about a plan to reconfigure Petaluma Boulevard South will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Graziano’s Italian restaurant in downtown Petaluma.
City staff members will be available to answer questions and take feedback on the plan.
The City Council has committed spending $200,000 on the $900,000 plan, which would reduce the number of traffic lanes through the heart of the downtown shopping district.
The so-called “road diet” would reduce the main thoroughfare from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction, with a continuous turn-lane in between. The reconfiguration would widen all lanes, leave more space for parallel parking and bicycles, and cut down the distance pedestrians would be vulnerable to cars, the city said.
But downtown merchants asked the city to hold off on committing to the project until their input was sought and their concerns could be resolved. Many merchants believe the reduction in lanes could throttle the flow so much as to make motorists, and therefore shoppers, avoid the area altogether.
Graziano’s is at 170 Petaluma Blvd. South.