This weekend around 12,000 friends and family members will come to Rohnert Park for Sonoma State University’s annual commencement event and the RP Department of Public Safety is reminding residents to be prepared for traffic delays and congestion along Rohnert Park Expressway and other thoroughfares near SSU.
The special, two-day event held at the Green Music Center for the class of 2018 is expected to draw an approximate total of 16,000 visitors to Rohnert Park, according to Rohnert Park Public Safety, Chief Brian Masterson and even though the event is split up to lessen the load on Rohnert Park roads, 12,000 are still expected to flock to RP each day from May 19-20.
“That will definitely bring up some congestion,” Masterson said.
Both Masterson and Interim Chief of Sonoma State University Police, David Dougherty are reminding people that added traffic could lead to 20-30 minute delays on East Cotati Avenue from Petaluma Hill Road to Highway 101, Rohnert Park Expressway from Petaluma Hill Road to Highway 101 and on Petaluma Hill Road from Adobe Road to Snyder Lane.
“Traffic delays are expected beginning around 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. with heavy traffic congestion,” Dougherty said.
According to public safety Sonoma State University police will monitor traffic flow over the weekend and will provide traffic control if needed.
Masterson also said that the California Highway Patrol will have extra officers assigned to the area as well for traffic control if needed.
“It puts a load on streets but it is a short period of time and we’ve done this for many years now, but we just want to let residents know that there will be delays,” Masterson said of the anticipated traffic.
In addition to traffic control, SSU police will have dedicated officers patrolling the campus for commencement practice and during the event to help ensure the event goes smoothly and safely.
“Many campus staff members work tirelessly with the University Police in coordination of a fantastic guest and participant experience. It is truly a team effort between many campus operations, including police,” Dougherty said. “The Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety has been informed of the commencement exercises and we enjoy a collaborative relationship in support of a safe environment in our respective communities on exciting days such as commencement.”
Masterson says in the past SSU has brought in California State University police entities for extra security for the event.
“They do a good job and it is very organized,” Masterson said.