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The Barlow
Help Sebastopol recover from the flood. Patronize the shops and restaurants that are open at The Barlow. Photo: Barlow.net

Keep Downtown
& The Barlow in Business

Sebastopol’s Local Shuttle # 24

Its ELECTRIC & It’s FREE!

Feb 27, 2019
by Sarah Glade Gurney

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Keep Downtown and The Barlow in Business

Support Main Street Shops and restaurants. Photo: Wikimedia Free

Help Sebastopol recover from the flood. In addition to donating time and money, consider these actions to keep Sebastopol’s customer base: 

Patronize the shops and restaurants that are open at The Barlow.

Support Main Street.

Tell friends to come over now, rather than wait or go elsewhere.

Watch for the re-openings.

Promote businesses as they come back on line.

Park once and browse the downtown core. 

These simple efforts could lessen the economic impact on our business people!

Sebastopol’s Local Shuttle # 24 is the FIRST electric bus in Sonoma County Transit’s fleet.

Mayor Hinton, the Analy Drum Corps and the 50 souls braved the cold and damp and came to celebrate the launch on Dec 10.Come take a ride and try it out with a buddy. It’s FREE!

In April and May, local volunteers are offering to be a BUS BUDDY. The ride-along program takes place on Wednesday mornings, with the 9:38 AM departure from the Hub-Rialto stop on Laguna Parkway [eastbound] for a round-trip, returning in about 40 minutes. Everyone’s invited! 

Here’s the April Bus Buddy Schedule:

April 3 Marsha Sue Lustig, Group of Advocates, Gravenstein Health Action

April 10 Katie Davis, Program Director at the Senior Center

Nick Vannucci, Manager at The Legacy

April 17 Lawrence Jaffe, Sebastopol Grange

April 24 Paul Fritz, Planning Commissioner

The program’s goal is to share the bus experience with more people and increase ridership. Credit for the idea of a “Bus Buddy” goes to residents at Burbank Heights and Orchards who participated in the public forums about the local route, held a year ago. They mentioned that not knowing the how-to’s to riding could be an obstacle for some people, solved by a friend or a friendly person showing others the way.

Ride the new electric bus!

Hop on! Hop off! The Local Shuttle hits all the hot spots in town, north to south and east to west. Main Streeters can get out to Ragle Ranch Park, without hassling parking and paying fees. Suburbanites can access lots of shopping, including all of our grocery stores, without driving in traffic and searching for parking.  The Chamber of Commerce has made it easier to locate businesses along the route with its promotion “Look Who’s on Route 24!” at https://www.sebastopol.org/route24. 

Even more details are available at http://sctransit.com/maps-schedules/route-24/ or on the app, NextBus, that provides real-time information to passengers. 

Remember Sebastopol’s Shuttle is FREE! Our Council subsidized ridership fares last July. Other communities have since followed Sebastopol’s lead: Windsor, Healdsburg, Russian River, Sonoma Valley, and perhaps soon Cloverdale. 

Have You Noticed?

Drivers are more courteous since the reconfiguration of Highway 116.

At peak morning and afternoon commute hours, the stop signs on cross streets sometimes have a short queue. Drivers are “zippering” more often, politely giving others the opportunity to merge,  exchanging friendly waves, smiles, and “thank you’s.”

For those interested in driver and pedestrian issues, come to the Council meeting on April 16 to learn the results of last fall’s Safety Survey. The survey took about 20 minutes to complete. Almost 280 citizens submitted answers, along with some creative and humorous solutions to our woes. 

The Survey was designed by Tasha Beauchamp of Cittaslow Sebastopol, and done at the request of City Manager Larry McLaughlin. Along with these two, Police Chief James Conner, Planning Director Kari Svanstrom, and I have reviewed the results. We will be suggesting some action items to the Council. 

Please attend the meeting on April 16 and add your input to the discussion. Safety, as well as pedestrian and driver perceptions and practices, are important to this community located at the intersection of Highways 12 and 116. 

Sebastappeal By Sarah Glade Gurney

Comments:

Apr 8, 2019
The new, subsidized e-busses for downtown travel are an excellent model for our regional County and growing inter-county supercommute problems. Creating incentivized, social mechanisms to target our deepest-rooted, individualized behaviors may just be the appeal that drives a safer and more environmental collective trend. Thank you for this experimental opportunity, City Council! The bicycle lanes, although I have to say, in many areas of town are safer for the bicyclist, and do not conflict with Sebastopol's traffic congestion, have created longer, stuck, 'zippers' of unprecedented vehicle traffic at key peak times (2:30-5:00) and others. I suspect part of this increased vehicle traffic bottlenecking has to do with the narrowing of 2 heavy flow lanes to one coming north into town, unusual changes in signal timing on key intersection lights at key times, unusual delays traffic delays when key pedestrian lights are signaled, etc. I'm not suggesting consultants, but perhaps signal light or peak traffic vehicle 'hosts' to more closely evaluate causal issues could alleviate the current unacceptable traffic conditions. The desperate search for alternative routes during these times have created another set problems- of unsafe tributary city and incorporated area street problems, inaccessibility to businesses (in or out) , and I suspect increased carbon emissions, which were all, or in part, a piece of the well intended, and mostly functional, increased bike lane mission. It has been suggested that particularly along Petaluma Ave. entering downtown, that the bicycle lane be moved to curbside to open the original lane back up. This would necessitate the loss of some street parking along the east curb of the Avenue but generally there only a few (6 or 7 cars) parked there at any time. Any changes that take place for improving safe vehicle and bicycle, and pedestrian traffic in the short term needs to be included in planning and actions for broader, regional solutions for the overall reduction of commuter and supercomputer traffic. The free city e-busses is a great beginning, now let's link this to SMART and other target commute cities for the greater experiment in behavior modification. Thank you Sarah and Vesta for creating this forum.
- Douglas Emery

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