More ‘slow streets’ added to city

Petaluma is poised to add several new slow streets, bringing to 5 miles the total of pedestrian and bike-friendly streets in the city’s program.

The city implemented a slow streets program in April amid the coronavirus pandemic. The program allows city officials to close certain streets to through traffic, opening up the roadways to cyclists, walkers and joggers seeking a socially distant place to get some exercise.

Ken Eichstaedt, the city’s senior civil engineer, proposed adding Rio Vista Way and Vallejo Street in the Payran neighborhood, Sonoma Avenue and North Fair Street as well as Post Street on the west side, and east side streets Bond Avenue and Zinfandel Drive.

Several streets that were added in the first two phases of the program are proposed to be removed, Eichstaedt told the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee last week.

“I feel like we are getting to an effective program that balances the capacity and the cost for implementation,” he said, adding that some residents, like those on Zinfandel Drive, sent in a petition for inclusion in the program. “You can’t easily ignore those things.”

The third phase of the program is expected to be discussed by the city council on Sept. 21 with a goal of making permanent some of the slow streets.