Monday-Friday
6A        Morning Edition
9A        Music
3P        Fresh Air
4P        All Things Considered
6:30P  The Daily

7P        Eclectic After Dark
banner101 3
Petaluma
photo credit: 
Setting a goal of being carbon neutral by 2030 is easy enough. Making it happen though, as Petaluma officials are learning, involves a lot of moving parts. 
 
Meeting for more than three hours Monday, elected and appointed leaders spoke of moves to significantly reduce the amount of vehicle parking in Petaluma. The goal is to cut traffic, reduce accidents, and curb emissions.
  
"If we have any true belief in the climate goals we set for ourselves, we have to start nudging people in the right direction," said Councilman Dennis Pocekay.
 
But issues, built over decades, will take time and great effort to unwind, said Thomas Brown is with the traffic engineering firm Nelson\Nygaard, serving as a consultant on the 'visioning' project.
  
"The walking experience between destinations is dominated by car traffic. It becomes a little less safe, a little less comfortable to walk, so more people drive, then the more people are driving, the less comfortable it is to walk and pretty soon you have places where it's not comfortable to walk anywhere, except from your car to the front door."
  
There is also concern that the effort, however lofty, isn't particularly realistic.
  
Petaluma lacks comprehensive mass transit, many who live here work elsewhere, and many with jobs in Petaluma, can't afford to live within a proximity where non-vehicular travel is practical.
 
Councilman Dave King, drove the point home, citing the consultant's own report. 
 
"Eighty-five percent of people in the city get to work by car and nine percent work at home."
  
Councilman Mike Healy warned that inducing parking scarcity could cause real problems, should commerce return to several vacant downtown buildings. And if an Amy's Kitchen plan to expand proceeds.... "I don't see downtown parking surviving that," he said.
  
Mayor Teresa Barrett disputed that scarce parking would hurt.
  
"If we keep downtown vital, and we really make it a place that people want to go, people will go there and they'll figure out a way to get there that works for them and works for others," she said.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • SoCo Calendar
  • Latest News
  • Right Now
  • Weather
  • Earthquakes
  • First News
 
 
Read More
 
thumbnail FirstNews logoA weekday early morning podcast that offers a first look at the top local news stories and weather forecast you need to start your day.

Sonoma County news stories featuring the latest in breaking news, county government, elections, environment, cultural happenings, and updates on your communities, from Petaluma to Cloverdale, and from Sonoma to Bodega Bay, and everyplace in between.

Subscribe to the Sonoma County First News podcast through our website, the NorCal Mobile App, NPR Podcasts, NPR One, iTunes/Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

 
Read More

Northern California
Public Media Newsletter

Get the latest updates on programs and events.