Press Democrat writer Jeremy Hay has his eye on the new Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park, and has been reporting this week about its impact on traffic once it opens Nov. 5.

On Monday, he wrote that vehicle trips on Highway 101 could increase by 40,800 a day, according to a report prepared for the county by consultant Robert Marcucci.

That’s 42% more than 2012, when Caltrans reported 97,000 vehicle trips a day going both directions on Highway 101 south of Wilfred Avenue, the primary freeway exit for the casino.

“If that is the case, it would be a backup from Rohnert Park Expressway to Petaluma,” CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.

“Things are going to change; we understand that,” Public Safety Sgt. Aaron Johnson told the Rohnert Park City Council Tuesday night.

Rohnert Park officials are planning for the 340,000-square-foot casino’s opening day with:

*Congestion management plans.

*A host of new signs directing people to the casino and away from streets likely to back up with traffic.

*Contingency plans.

*Plans for “increasing levels of deployment.”

*A 38-foot mobile command center staffed with officials from three city departments and five other public safety agencies. “They’ll be there until they’re not needed,” Johnson said. When they leave, he said, “the new norm” will have become evident.

The city is widening Golf Course Drive West (formerly Wilfred Avenue) to provide access to the casino, construction paid for by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, the casino’s owner.

Marcucci, the consultant who prepared the report, said his numbers are based on an independent 2005 analysis of the Lytton Pomo tribe’s San Pablo Casino, which assumed that each of the facility’s slot machines generates 13.6 vehicle trips each weekday.

Read Hays’ stories here and here.

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  1. Tom

    they can have all the mobile command centers and all the “experts” can give their opinion–basically nobody knows what it’s going to be like. One thing is for certain–it won’t be a good thing—unless you are one who starts getting monthly checks from it. Thanks to all of those who pushed this through without asking the residents opinion.

    October 9th, 2013 1:01 pm

  2. Mike

    No worries, once all the people that go there lose all their money the traffic should decrease in the near future

    October 9th, 2013 9:40 pm

  3. BW

    I agree Tom. The roads are going to be a mess. But don’t worry Wilford aka Golf Course Drive West has four lanes. Thank you Rohnert Park City Council. As far as I’m concerned the city has failed it’s people. The big power player was and is Jake McKenzie. This is YOUR legacy. Wear it proud.

    October 9th, 2013 10:51 pm

  4. Tyler

    Jerry Brown signed the compact with the tribe and the state House and Senate ratified it. Sonoma County is and will remain Jerry Brown country. Go figure. Or don’t, since going is about to become mighty slow, but that’s not all bad – it will give stuck 101 drivers lots of extra time to consider their 2014 votes.

    October 10th, 2013 6:39 am

  5. stuck in the narrows

    Enough is enough….the Novato-Petaluma corridor is ALREADY the worst traffic on the PLANET!!! DOES ANYONE HAVE A SOLUTION? ANYONE?

    October 10th, 2013 7:48 am

  6. Been There

    Don’t worry, when the Petaluma casino gets built, the Rohnert Park Casino traffic should subside a bit. Until then, bring a good book to read while you sit in your vehicle on 101.

    Don’t forget to thank Boxer and Feinstein while you’re remembering the Rohnert Park city council and good ole Jerry Brown!

    October 10th, 2013 11:27 am

  7. G

    Hoorary for more horrible traffic! I want a backup from Novato to RP every day please!

    October 10th, 2013 4:43 pm

  8. Road.Warrior

    I think it’s on the way. They’re creeping up on it from both ends and will meet in the middle within a few years.

    October 10th, 2013 5:31 pm

  9. ucnred

    If those who are smart enough to think a casino/business will bring an extra 40,000 more car trips a day, well what part of your commute or whatever isn’t accounted for? Can you explain just how much you don’t do or go where you want because of traffic worries? I didn’t know your living and using the roadways in our county isn’t the same thing your crying about? Please go on about how the politicians just broke your hearts because they didn’t see and do what you wanted. I can’t stand those who complain and say how other’s are to blame, while they are doing the exact same thing but aren’t smart enough to see it….

    October 11th, 2013 11:53 pm

  10. ucnred

    Oh and if you nothing good will come except for those benefiting from it, well yeah I can see that and I can also see what every other American Citizen is thankful for-” A PIECE OF THE AMERICAN PIE” with a little bit of “DON’T HATE!” on the side..

    October 12th, 2013 12:13 am

  11. MC

    Its always amazing to see different comments filled with the underlined hatred for those outside of the box. I have had the chance to sit in traffic on 101 every other day regarding a disabled vehicle and the hundreds of RUBBER NECKERS that cannot mind their own business as they drive. If Codding Enterprise or Simon were in the position to purchase and operate a Lavish money making Casino as Graton would you comment? I doubt it. I understand its difficult in America to visualize a money making force with darker pigmentation but get used to it because the Graton Rancheria will be the power within this area and others. Instead of sitting in traffic, get off 101 and go spend some of that money. You too can become rich if you HIT THE JACKPOT (smiles)

    October 13th, 2013 9:33 am

  12. Dan Drummond Sr

    Good thing the SMART train is coming soon.

    October 13th, 2013 2:20 pm

  13. rue

    A creeping Cancer that will invade the community of Rohnert Park. Throw them all under the bus.

    October 31st, 2013 6:48 am

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