Christian Kallen, SONOMA INDEX-TRIBUNE
If Sonoma Public Works Director Colleen Ferguson has her way, the route of Broadway from MacArthur to the Plaza will have room for more parking, bike paths in each direction, and encourage foot traffic to support local businesses – without costing the city an extra dime.
“The city’s planning documents definitely show bike lanes on both sides of Broadway,” said Ferguson. “And it’s clear that the volumes of traffic on Broadway now can be accommodated by one travel lane until you get to the Plaza – you don’t need two lanes like we have now.”
What would it take to bring Ferguson’s vision to fruition? Apparently just some paint, thanks to the planned repaving of Broadway – aka Highway 12 – by Caltrans slated to begin next summer.
The majestic street, the so-called “gateway” to historic Sonoma, is far wider than it needs to be (and without the military rationale Napoleon needed to build the Champs de l’Elysee, a similarly over-wide boulevard in Paris).
That’s one reason there’s almost never a traffic jam on Broadway – though the T intersection at the Plaza where it runs into Napa Street can be congested.
“It’s 70 feet from curb to curb,” said Frank Penry of GHD, the city’s consultant for the Broadway Streetscape Enhancements & Traffic Circulation Project, part of the city’s annual budget currently under review.