Traffic routes study calls for upgrades in RP
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By Jud Snyder  February 28, 2014 12:00 am

Now that the Graton Tribe casino has had several months to settle in on its location on Golf Course Drive West (formerly Wilfred Avenue), Rohnert Park’s City Council has approved a traffic study to upgrade all the intersections between the casino and nearby city streets. The study will be conducted by URS Corp., traffic design professionals located in San Jose.

The item was on the council’s consent calendar and it received approval by a 4-0 vote. Councilwoman Gina Belforte was absent for the vote.

RP previously did a traffic study before the casino opened, but there was scant authentic data on what to expect and a lot of guesswork was involved.

Traffic was a nightmare opening day last November and earned the label of “total chaos.” But since then, there have not been any chaotic, traffic-clogged days.

The casino has more or less settled into a regular pattern, and URS has its work cut out to organize improvements. Not only will it be a traffic analysis but will also set up  a traffic signal coordination plan to smooth travel for motorists.

The cost of the URS work will be $178,176 and will be paid by the Graton Mitigation Fund of $2,664,000, which the city has already received. This payment was part of the original Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU), the Graton Tribe’s binding agreement with the City of Rohnert Park, signed back in October 2003.

There are 14 intersections included in the URS study. Ten are in Rohnert Park and four involve the freeway, northbound and southbound, governed by Caltrans. All will be studied and analyzed by URS. 

In RP, the intersections are RP Expressway and Redwood Drive, RPX and Commerce Boulevard, RPX and State Farm Drive, Golf Course Drive West and Labath Avenue, GCDW at Dowdell Ave., GCDW at Redwood Drive, GCDW at Commerce Boulevard,  GCDW at Roberts Lake Road, GCDW at DoubleTree Drive and GCDW at Fairway Drive. New traffic signals will be added where needed, traffic lane changes and bicycle lanes will be made where needed. 

URS traffic designers will also draw up a signal coordination plan called “Flush Plan,” to be used during periods of grid lock along a traffic corridor. 

Tyson Tano, URS engineer, will be responsible for overall management. He’ll be working with Rick Pedroncelli, RP’s project manager, on the study. No date has been set yet for the project’s start.

Collection of data will be held weekdays at both 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. plus between 2-4 p.m. Weekend midday times are yet to be scheduled. Traffic counts will not be counted on holidays, during abnormal weather conditions, school breaks or scheduled street closures for construction or special events. 

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