Casino traffic nears ‘normal’ after chaotic Nov. 5 opening
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By Jud Snyder  November 15, 2013 12:00 am

Rohnert Park’s Director of Public Safety, Brian Masterson, gave the city council an update on the casino traffic situation at the council’s Tuesday night meeting in city hall. It seemed to be almost “normal traffic” a city expects with a casino on its doorstep. 

He mentioned the Tuesday Nov. 5 casino opening, which was a chaotic scene made worse by an unexpected flood of buses from San Francisco and Marin County adding to the congestion.

But the following days went much smoother. 

“The new directional signs put up by Caltrans helped a lot. On opening day we had 18 calls for assistance but this tapered off into three, two, five or four calls the following days,” Masterson said. “It was like post-Armageddon after that first day.”

He also praised the work done by California Highway Patrol and Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office traffic officers. “We all cooperated very well and there was no jurisdictional friction at all. I credit this to all the planning we did ahead of time.

“We will keep the same forces at work, assisted by guys in the public works department and all the directional signs Caltrans contributed,” he said. “Most of the calls were medical and we had zero DUI arrests around the casino.”

“I noticed everybody complimented everybody else,” said Councilwoman Gina Belforte. “This speaks volumes to me.”

“Traffic control did a fantastic job,” said vice-Mayor Joe Callinan. “Good planning really paid off.”

Added Masterson, “We will continue our focus, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when casino traffic is heavier than on weekdays and nights.”

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