Crashes, traffic slowdowns at Santa Rosa intersections due to PG&E blackout

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Santa Rosa authorities have responded to at least 17 vehicle collisions at intersections with malfunctioning traffic lights since PG&E initiated a planned power shut-off Wednesday morning, city officials said Thursday.

The city tallied 39 intersections with dysfunctional lights, most of them on the east side of the city, Assistant Santa Rosa Fire Department Marshal Paul Lowenthal said. By Thursday evening, power was restored to 21 of those intersections, said Lt. John Snetsinger of the Santa Rosa Police Department.

Some of the crashes resulted in injuries, Lowenthal said. None of them, however, were major injuries, Snetsinger said.

“That’s why we’re trying to tell everybody to come to a full stop, to treat (these intersections) as a four-way stop,” Lowenthal said.

In addition to the crashes, nonfunctioning signals resulted in slowed traffic at some of the city’s busy intersections, Lowenthal said. That included intersections along parts of Fourth Street, Mission Boulevard and Highway 12, he said.

Eight intersections controlled by traffic signals in Petaluma were without power Thursday, the Petaluma Police Department said. Maria Drive and Rainer Avenue at Sonoma Mountain Parkway, as well as Redwood Way and North McDowell Boulevard were among those intersections, police said.

Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety reported no traffic signal malfunctions. CHP, which investigates crashes on county roads, did not respond to any outage-related traffic collisions as of Thursday, CHP spokesman Officer David deRutte said.

CHP Napa responded to about four collisions related to the outage early Thursday morning, said spokesman Officer Marc Renspurger. The crashes all occurred in areas where traffic lights were malfunctioning, but no one involved was severely injured or transported to a hospital.

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