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GUEST OPINION: Bike boulevard paves way to healthier, greener tomorrow

  • 4/12/2009: B1: The proposed bike boulevard for Humboldt Street in Santa Rosa would include removing stop signs and installing roundabouts at four intersections.


    PC: The proposed bike boulevard for Humboldt St. in Santa Rosa would include removing stop signs and installing roundabouts at five intersections along the 1.5 mile stretch. (Can you check the number of roundabouts)

The Humboldt Street bike boulevard project is an opportunity for Santa Rosa leadership to take a stand for the safety and health of its citizens, as well as for the environment.

Though the bike boulevard has been controversial, everyone seems to agree that it is still not safe enough for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists alike. Considering the recent rash of teens injured or killed by cars in Santa Rosa, it's clear that the city needs to improve the safety of our streets for citizens who choose not to travel by car. The bike boulevard is designed to do exactly that, but the traffic calming measures taken so far have been inadequate.

No one would argue that it isn't better for our health to walk or bike than to drive, so let's make it safe to do so and encourage our citizens to take care of their health. No one would argue that it is better for the environment to walk or bike than to use fossil fuels – let's make it safe to do what is right for our planet.

Moreover, if we reduce vehicular traffic on Humboldt Street, we will be creating a place to build community. With less traffic, people will feel safe enough to come out with their bikes, skates and kids and see each other's faces, even get to know each other.

Soon city leadership will be debating whether to try to calm traffic further on Humboldt Street and how to do so. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board has suggested speed bumps and increased signage, as well as the possibility of prohibiting lefts turns from College Avenue onto Humboldt and a traffic diverter at Pacific Avenue if speed bumps are not possible. The exact interventions are still up for negotiation, but the need for more traffic calming is undeniable.


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