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Sustainable Sebastopol

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The CVS-Chase shopping center was recently approved for one of our main downtown intersections. How do you think this will affect traffic and our sense of community?


CalTrans is placing restrictions on this project that the developer might not like. Click here to read CalTrans letter.


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Regarding traffic to be generated by CVS

One of the conditions (not yet agreed to by the applicant) is for an Emergency Vehicle Access –only- lane from Petaluma Ave.

The in-only driveway the applicant had agreed to earlier brings traffic in off Petaluma Ave right into the middle of what is to be a pedestrian plaza/parking lot.

The applicant wants a left turn into Barnes Ave on the northeast side of the site by autos driving west on Sebastopol Avenue; this would result in autos traveling both east and west to stack up on Sebastopol Avenue. This driveway would also accommodate a single lane of cars accessing a drive -through pharmacy pickup lane, further clogging traffic in/out on Barnes to Sebastopol Road.

On Petaluma Ave, Abbott Avenue is supposed to provide the conduit to the project driveway about 40 ft in. Everyone knows that the Frizelle Enos Farm and Pet Supply store’s customers park there, load on large hay bales, etc., while other customers are coming and going and trying to park on Abbott adjacent to the Chase Bank side of the project and supplier’ trucks are trying to deliver goods to Frizelle Enos.

Everyone knows that Senior Center participants, Parkside and Sebastopol Charter School parents and children, Sebastopol library users, and Burbank Garden residents suffer from the dangerous traffic on Bodega highway.

traffic CVS

Turning left on Bodega Avenue can be dangerous! Walking across Bodega Avenue can be dangerous!

The inadequate traffic “study” done for the CVS/Chase project only went west to High St. It didn’t reach the Jewell Ave stoplight; it didn’t consider the neighborhood streets that would be impacted by cars trying to avoid the cars stacking on Bodega Ave.

The traffic study deduced that Sebastopol would need to prohibit left turns from High Street (the Senior Center and Library) onto Bodega Highway during morning and afternoon peak hours. There is actually some dispute about this; one possibility that was being studied would have prohibited morning and afternoon rush hour left turns on to Bodega Avenue from either North or South High Street. This prohibition was not in the Mitigated Negative Declaration and some people are asking why not? Well, a supplementary traffic study somehow lowered the projected additional wait time to just below the amount that would have triggered this mitigation. Go figure.

The study didn’t even include the traffic that The Barlow Project will bring. When the traffic consultant was queried by a community member during a break in the proceedings, (minutes before the City Council certified the Mitigated Negative Declaration on July 5, 2011, that allowed the project to proceed without a full Environmental Impact Report)regarding the omission of the Barlow Project traffic, he replied that it didn’t need to be counted because a formal application wasn’t on file then (even though the Barlow had been scheduled to be reviewed by the Design Review Board the following week.