August 16, 2017
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Japanese students enjoy visiting Rohnert Park Congressman Thompson holds town hall meeting in RP New team, new coach, new method of practice Rohnert Park and Cotati citizens come out for safety tips and fun at annual National Night Out RP City Council one step closer to vision of downtown Local team sets goal of $100,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma Ribbon cutting event introduces the new and improved Richard Crane Elementary School 54 miles of road work to cause delays for some local roads Cotati’s K9 unit comes out for annual Coffee with a Cop event Update from March 8 Bomb Threat Reducing city debt Self-Proclaimed “Downtown L.A. Predator” in Rohnert Park Cotati City Council votes to join Climates Mayors Initiative April Paul becomes an honorary lioness From the Publisher’s desk: Dancing the night away with Moonlighters Local smoke shop employee pleads not guilty Out of a crime comes kindness Trend in car smash and grabs significantly rises Citizens Public Safety Academy accepting applications Cal Ripken’s U 10 team gets higher up nod 25th Annual Cotati Kids' Day Celebration Media preview ride offers sneak peak of SMART train Rohnert Park water rates to rise with little to no resistance Cypress School and UCP visits Stinson Beach for surf camp Free lunch for any child served at La Plaza Park For RP city, some fireworks are illegal 'Hail to the chiefs' a fitting title for annual Penngrove Parade Cotati City Council to attempt to get quicker start time for quiet zone establishment Breakfast and safety tips at annual Penngrove pancake breakfast RP City Council audience reminded to keep it safe and sane The Kut-Ups’ final curtain call after 45 years Jazzed it up with love and music Bugles Across America Credo High School’s special day Bikes become the equalizer at UCP day camp Skate park project a possibility for parks and rec SMART and safe Nurse’s strike in Petaluma Sutton takes oath of Eagle Scout Shows are icing on the cake First Rohnert Park student to visit sister city in Japan brings back gift RP summer camp brings pets and kids together Fun after school Get ready Cotati - water and sewer rates are rising Petaluma teachers hold one-day strike Gift of $1,000,000 to the Sonoma County Fair Foundation Cotati woman pleads: consider the salamander PG&E contractors to inspect gas meters in Sonoma County Rohnert Park moves to make medication disposal easier Protestors show up, affordable housing gets closer Caps being tossed after graduation at Tech-High Rancho Cotate Graduation 2017 Safreno, 2017 Veteran of the Year Now that the dust has settled, is the CRPUSD ready for the next project? A sea of flags Cyber tip leads to Cotati man arrested for possession of child pornography Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Employer Best Practice Awards Breakfast! Place receives Girl Scout Gold Award.

Rohnert Park and Cotati hope to take part in Bike Share Program

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
July 28, 2017

On July 10 the Sonoma County Transportation Authority Board of Directors voted to move forward with a Sonoma County bike share program and, in conjunction with the Transportation Authority of Marin, submit a $1.17 million capital grant application with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. While the exact locations in Cotati and Rohnert Park have yet to be determined, three proposed sites include the Cotati SMART train station, Sonoma State University and Sonoma Mountain Village. This would be part of a wider bike share program covering Sonoma and Marin counties along the SMART line. Partners include SMART and the cities of Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Novato, San Rafael and Larkspur.

Bike share programs are already used in many metropolitan areas, including San Francisco and various cities in the East and South Bay, and are a natural progression to easing transportation burdens within the county’s growing population and getting more cars off the road.

“It’s a timely issue,” says Mayor Jake Mackenzie, of Rohnert Park. “Bike share programs have expanded dramatically in the Bay Area. This is a first shot in Sonoma and Marin counties to get our bikes on the road.”

Once implemented, the bike share program will provide users on-demand access to a network of publicly rentable bicycles, designed for short, one-way trips. For example, a Sonoma State University student could obtain a bike at a kiosk near the campus using an automated check-out process, ride the mile and a half to the Cotati train station, deposit the bike at the kiosk there and hop on the train to Marin.

“The concept is to have connectivity all along the commuter line along the SMART train,” Mackenzie said. 

The hope is to have bike share kiosks at SMART train stations and surrounding key destinations. Most likely, users would either pay a membership fee with free short rides, or pay a per-minute or hour rental, using a smart phone app. They can then use that app to find available bikes nearby if they are not near a kiosk. 

Policy makers believe the program would appeal to residents and commuters, as well as visitors, tourists and students. Rohnert Park and Cotati are suitable candidates for this project, given the infrastructure already in place with off-street bike paths and on-street bike lanes that connect to various activity centers throughout the cities. 

The Sonoma County Transportation Authority believes they should receive notification of grant approval by the end of September. If approved, the grant would cover capital and initial implementation costs, with a 200-bicycle system deployed over a three-year period and a GPS technology system that would allow riders to easily track down a rentable bike. Future operating costs will most likely be covered by sponsorships and rental income.

“SCTA has made a commitment to cover most of the first three years of operating revenue and Sonoma Mountain Village has agreed to be an early sponsor,” says Mary Grace Pawson, Director of Development Services for the City of Rohnert Park. “Long term, the partners hope the program will attract additional sponsors.”

While so far there is not a contingency plan in place should the grant not be approved, Pawson believes they would continue to seek out other funding opportunities, either through public or private agencies. 

“The bike share program also fits in with our climate action plans to reduce the amount of cars on the road,” says Mackenzie. “It’s part of our overall vision of transportation.”