The city of Santa Rosa has nixed a proposed pedestrian corridor on the Santa Rosa Junior College campus. Santa Rosa city officials dashed the hopes of Santa Rosa Junior College administrators, who were trying to see a section of Elliot Avenue, which splits the northern and southern sides of campus, restricted to pedestrian-only traffic.
By a 5-2 vote, the city council rejected a 16-month pilot program which would have closed a 600 foot section of Elliot Avenue, between Salem Avenue and Emeritus Circle. The section already sees heavy foot traffic and has three marked crosswalks, said Robert Sprinkle.
"So the findings of the traffic study indicated that this project won't be creating any new trips." Sprinkle said. "It's basically going to be redistributing trips and it could potentially reduce trips if there's an increase in bicycle and pedestrian activity in the area."
Robert Sprinkle is with Santa Rosa Transportation and Public Works. He said despite low projected traffic impacts and large community support, residents along Elliot Avenue voiced concerns about accessing Mendocino Avenue if the road closure were to go ahead.
Sprinkle said, "Some of the concerns from the neighborhood to the north of Elliot was regarding the inconvenience for the residents who want to access Mendocino Avenue. Instead of using Elliot, they will have to go up to Steele, which is busier." Sprinkle told the city council.
Mayor Chris Rogers, one of two “yes” votes, said his support was based on the city’s stated “Vision Zero” pedestrian goals.
"We have discussed at length from this council dais, Vision Zero," Rogers said, "and trying to look at our built environment from a perspective of bicycle and pedestrian, not just from a perspective of cars."
While the initial pilot program failed to get city backing, councilmember Victoria Fleming floated the idea of a hybrid corridor.
"If it's possible to have some closures during peak hours, a gate that could open rather than something that is closed 24/7. Is that something that this council would be willing to consider?" Fleming said.