Here’s a question from a Road Warrior reader:

For the last 3 weeks I’ve watched the police presence at the roundabout near 101 on Petaluma Blvd S change from enforcement to encroachment.  There’s been an officer stationed at the roundabout 4 of 5 mornings every single week, often with TWO officers in the region.  I feel like the city is trying to harvest ticket revenue from the area. I’ve been commuting this area for months and don’t understand the issue.  If the roundabout is such a safety issue, why was it built in the first place? Stephen

The answer comes from Petaluma Police Sgt. Ken Savano, who says the speed limit on Petaluma Boulevard South north of the roundabout recently was dropped from 45 mph to 35 mph after a traffic survey, and the officers are enforcing the limit as they would anywhere else in the city. He says there’s no special enforcement action — officers “are hitting it as time allows” — but the officers have been “writing a few tickets.”

Savano says the speed was dropped to 35 because it’s too dangerous for drivers to approach the roundabout at 45. He says there haven’t been any recent crashes there solely related to speed, but there have been some blamed on drunken driving and other factors.

As for why Petaluma has the roundabout and several others, CLICK HERE to read a story about them from the Petaluma Argus-Courier.

Here’s another question:

This situation occurs on Stony Point Rd between the Hwy 12 Westbound offramp and West Third St.  When I drive northbound on Stony Point and pull into the small left-turn lane which leads into the Oliver’s shopping center, I often have to wait quite awhile for southbound traffic to let up before I can make my turn.  Occasionally, a southbound car will stop traffic behind them and attempt to pull a U-turn through the small cutout in the road’s divider, backing up traffic behind them while they wait for northbound traffic to dissipate.  This always causes congestion and i see lots of near misses in this situation. Is it legal for them to attempt this U-turn? Joel

The answer comes from Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Rich Celli, who says, yes, it is illegal.

“This would be considered a business district as a portion of that area is related to the shopping center,” Celli says. ” The big issue is that vehicles that are waiting for the U-turn from southbound to northbound, are competing with the left hand turn lane traffic as well as the northbound lanes.  This would make it hard to see as well as dangerous for drivers in all directions.”


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