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The Pumpkin Patch Crawl is gone, and we have Caltrans to thank for the treat.

It’s been a Halloween tradition in Sonoma County for nearly 20 years. A pumpkin patch and corn maze would come into their glory every fall along Highway 101 in north Petaluma, attracting thousands of people throughout October. But the pumpkin patch also every year would cause backups on southbound 101 as drivers gawked at all of the fun.

Not this year, and hopefully perhaps never again.

Caltrans this year finished widening 101 along the patch as part of its continuing project to expand the highway, and traffic has been flowing smoothly past the pumpkins.

“I think that third lane has taken care of the problem,” said CHP Officer Jon Sloat, spokesman for the Sonoma County office.

Farmer Jim Groverman of Petaluma, who creates the patch each year, actually predicted last year that the wider highway would improve traffic. He was right.

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