|Interesting facts in safety report
RPX proves to be city’s most dangerous road; State Farm Drive next
Traffic police in Rohnert Park’s Dept. of Public Safety have been keeping track of collisions and code violations ever since 2004. From 2004 to 2008, totals have all been above 200 (almost 300 in 2004), but since then, 189 is the top figure in 2010.
Tuesday night, Director of Public Safety Brian Masterson and Sgt. Jason Krauss brought their statistics to the city council in a report loaded with bar graphs and pie charts. Nothing startling was revealed. However, there are interesting figures for anyone who drives a car in RP to absorb. In no particular order:
• The most dangerous street is Rohnert Park Expressway and Commerce Boulevard from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday evenings. It had 36 (2 to 6 p.m.) and 38 collisions (from 6 to 8 p.m.) in the last six months of 2011 and the first six months of 2012. This doesn’t count the number of close calls resulting in sudden braking or minor bumper-crumpling ending in exchange of insurance cards.
• Slightly less totals were recorded right at RPX intersections at State Farm Drive, Country Club Drive and Snyder Lane. Seven or less were recorded at these intersections, due to traffic violations.
• Main cause of traffic collisions was excess speed, followed distantly by unsafe turns, DUIs and red light violations.
• The DPS crackdown on drivers using their cell phones or texting while driving is paying dividends, thanks to motorcycle-riding Officer Ryan Foiles and high profiles of patrol cars. They issued 147 citations in the last six months of 2011, and it dropped off to 128 citations in the first six months of 2012.
• Jaywalking violations are common on Commerce Boulevard near RPX with shopping centers on both side plus two bus stops. The DPS will be posting signs on the center strip of Commerce Blvd. and keeping a close watch on this area, warning jaywalking citations can result if pedestrians try this instead of walking a few steps to the RPX intersection or at Hunter Drive.
• No bicycle vs. auto collisions were mentioned due to the many bike paths in the city.
No mention was made of a growing problem along RPX and Enterprise Drive, where growing masses of redwood and Douglas firs are located. The lower branches of these trees have been trimmed but the size of the trunks have grown.
Drivers exiting the many multi-family complexes are faced with a massed lineup of tree trunks lessening the visibility of oncoming autos. It calls for increased caution for exiting drivers making turns left or right and drivers coming at right angles to them. Here’s where exceeding speed limits come into play.
The bottom line is Masterson and his officers obviously have a firm grip on their campaign to make RP the safest city in the county bisected by the freeway.