Facts are important in order to make informed decisions and refute myths and lies. These facts disclose the impact the city of Santa Rosa's plan will create in the neighborhood surrounding the Humboldt Street bicycle boulevard:
&#149 Left turns from College Avenue onto Humboldt Street may be prohibited. Why does this matter? The Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts is perhaps 50 feet north of that intersection. Parents will have to detour to drop off and pickup their children. That's 280 students.
&#149 Left turns also may be prohibited from Pacific Avenue. Why does this matter? Residents will have to detour to reach or leave their homes for as long as they live there.
&#149 Roundabouts and curb bump-outs already are in place in the narrow intersections. The city may add diverters at Pacific and possibly Lewis Road. Why does this matter? Public safety. Because .<TH>.<TH>.
&#149 The Alquist-Priolo fault is perhaps 10 blocks east of Humboldt. The entire downtown area and most of Santa Rosa is a documented area of moderate to high risk of liquefaction. A severe earthquake is not an <CF102>if</CF>, but a <CF102>when</CF>.
&#149 Severe earthquakes produce toppled buildings with people trapped inside or underneath; downed power lines and trees; burst gas and water mains; heaved pavement of streets and sidewalks.
Why does this matter? First responders — fire, police, ambulances and PG&E — have to find a way through all these typical aftereffects and get past all the added concrete obstacles the city has created.
That is if they can get by them. Time is the difference between rescues and recoveries. The city's first responsibility is public safety for its residents. Keep our intersections clear.
&#149 Adjacent streets will also be affected. Why does this matter? Detouring traffic will produce 13,000 extra miles annually, complete with carbon emissions. This is an environmental nightmare.
&#149 The most bizarre fact of all is how few bicyclists use this boulevard despite the city promoting it on its Web site. Why does this matter? Without the Bicycle Coalition and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board calling people to flood our street, there simply are not the numbers to justify turning a narrow old neighborhood street into a bicycle boulevard - and they all know it.
&#149 The goal of the Bicycle Coalition is to have "complete streets." If this boulevard experiment becomes permanent, there will be Amgen-type numbers on our streets and residents will be virtually imprisoned in their homes. This is happening in Portland, Ore. and Austin, Texas. Check their Web sites.
&#149 The national Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance was called Thunderhead Alliance in 2007. In its training flier, Gary Wysocky, then-president of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, was quoted as saying: "A how-to kit for influencing public policy. I learned methods and tactics I have used on a regular basis. It's now board policy that at least one member each year attend a Thunderbird Training."
Why does this matter? Wysocky is now a city councilman and votes on this issue.
If any of these facts disturb the soon-to-be-impacted residents of adjacent streets, the parents of the 280 students who attend the charter school, local businesses or anyone who thinks honesty and integrity are the most important values we can possess and expect our City Council to uphold, contact Mayor Susan Gorin and voice your opposition. Show up at City Council meetings. This will be voted on in May.
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