Oliver's Market, Cotati going in circles over roundabout

  • 10/19/2011: B1:
    PC: Steve Maass, left, president and founder of Oliver's Market, and Tom Scott, vice president and general manager, at the site of a planned Oliver's Market in Cotati.

One of Cotati's biggest employers may have inadvertently undercut its objections to a city proposal to install two roundabouts on its main street.

<NO1><NO>Oliver's Market, which has said it won't relocate downtown if the traffic plan goes forward and may leave the city, has been showing a video to demonstrate how the roundabout would be an impediment to big trucks.

The traffic control circles are part of a $3.5 city plan to revitalize its small downtown. City officials favor it over another plan they came up with that would make Old Redwood Highway a four-lane road.

But Oliver's video, which company officials filmed, does not tell the full story of how Cotati's roundabouts would work.

The video, presented last week by Oliver's General Manager Tom Scott to the city's design review committee and promoted on the company's website, shows a semi-trailer truck negotiating a Petaluma roundabout that is said to be the same size as those in Cotati's proposal.

The truck circles the roundabout in residential west Petaluma several times, its rear two sets of wheels crossing into the roundabout's inner circle each time, leaving black tire-tread marks.

In a letter on the Oliver's website describing the company's opposition to the roundabouts, Scott directs readers to the video with a link.

But according to Petaluma officials, the roundabout in the video at West Haven Way and Windsor Road is 110 feet in diameter. The proposed roundabout on Old Redwood Highway in front of the site where Oliver's has planned its new store is 118 to 128 feet in diameter, according to Cotati officials.

There are other differences. The travel lanes around Petaluma's roundabout are 17 feet wide. In Cotati's version, the travel lanes are 22 feet wide.

The differences are significant when it comes to trucks,<NO1><NO> one expert said.

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