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Prohibit Construction of Roundabout
City of Cotati
Majority Approval Required
Pass: 1,852 / 57.5% Yes votes ...... 1,367 / 42.5% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Dec 17 1:47pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (3/3)|
|Information shown below: Fiscal Impact | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
Shall an ordinance be adopted prohibiting the construction of roundabouts, traffic circles and other similar traffic features anywhere within the City of Cotati city limits?
Analysis of potential fiscal impacts of the initiative identifies the following costs that could be incurred by the City of Cotati as a result of passage of the initiative:
General Plan. The City Attorney's impartial analysis states: "A legal question exists as to whether the proposed initiative is consistent with the City General Plan." If the General Plan were revised to conform to the proposed initiative, the cost would be approximately $80,000.
Downtown Specific Plan. If the Downtown Specific Plan were amended to conform to the proposed initiative, the cost, including related environmental documents and traffic engineering, would be approximately $115,000.
Construction Grants. The City has been awarded a construction grant for $1,100,000 for improving the downtown, including the use of roundabouts. The City is required to complete design by February 1, 2013 or the grant will be forfeited. If the proposed initiative was approved, and the project was redesigned to eliminate roundabouts, the grant would be in jeopardy.
Future Grants. If the proposed initiative forced the City to forfeit the $1,100,000 downtown project grant, the resulting violation of the grant requirements would put at risk a pending $250,000 road construction grant and the City's ability to receive road construction grants for the next 3 years.
Old Redwood Highway Street Improvement Project. This project includes two roundabouts. If the proposed initiative was approved, and the project was redesigned to eliminate roundabouts, the cost to redesign would be approximately $170,000. Redesign would also require more extensive property acquisition along Old Redwood Highway, at an estimated cost of $780,000, plus additional construction at an estimated cost of $1,200,000.
Litigation Costs. The City Attorney's impartial analysis identifies uncertainty regarding the impact of the proposed initiative on streets that the City does not legally control, such as Highway 116, and on the use of cul-de-sacs and other circular traffic features. As a result of that uncertainty, future Council decisions regarding roadway design could result in litigation costs for the City.
If the proposed initiative passes, the total cost to the City of Cotati in lost revenue and required expenditures could be up to $3,700,000. The City's General Fund cannot absorb additional costs at this time. To accommodate those additional costs, it would be necessary to reduce funding for police, street and park maintenance services.
In accordance with the Elections Code, the scope of this analysis is limited to the measure's effect on City government revenues and expenditures. It does not address larger fiscal issues such as the measure's effect on the overall City economy.
s/ Jone Hayes
The stated purpose of this initiative is to prohibit construction of roundabouts, traffic circles or other similar traffic features anywhere within the Cotati city limits.
The initiative, if approved by the voters, would add a new Chapter 11.11 to the Cotati Municipal Code that would prohibit the City of Cotati from doing any of the following with respect to traffic features commonly known as "roundabouts," "traffic circles" or any other similar traffic features (cumulatively "traffic features") on or with respect to any public street or roadway anywhere within the Cotati city limits: (1) constructing or utilizing said traffic features (2) requiring others to construct said traffic features (3) adopting street standards or specifications requiring construction or utilization of said traffic features, or (4) carrying out or approving a project to construct as a condition of approval of any project or issuance of any permit or permission with respect to said traffic features.
Therefore, under the language of the proposed initiative ordinance, use of roundabouts, traffic circles, or any other "similar traffic features" within the Cotati city limits would be prohibited. "Similar traffic features" is undefined and could lead to disputes regarding future roadway designs. The City does not legally control all streets within its jurisdiction; the effect of the proposed initiative ordinance on streets that the City does not legally control is unclear.
EXISTING LAW + CITY GENERAL PLAN
State law requires a City ordinance be consistent with the City General Plan. Ordinances that are inconsistent with the City General Plan are invalid. A legal question exists as to whether the proposed initiative ordinance is consistent with the City General Plan. In a report presented to the City Council, it was concluded that the proposed initiative ordinance is inconsistent with the City General Plan in that it would frustrate already initiated projects to achieve important General Plan goals regarding the transportation system, community character, and economic development.
The report notes that City General Plan policy 2.41 identifies as the highest priority, traffic calming measures as alternatives to traditional traffic solutions (identified as traffic signals, street widening and stop signs). Roundabouts and traffic circles are identified in the Appendix to the General Plan as types of traffic calming measures under this policy. Under language of the proposed initiative ordinance these types of traffic calming devices would be barred anywhere in the City. A copy of the report is available from the City upon request or at http://www.ci.cotati.ca.us
A majority "yes" vote would pass Measure U.
The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure U. If you desire a copy of the proposed measure, please call the elections official's office at 707-665-3622 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you.
s/ Richard Rudnansky
|Arguments For Measure U||Arguments Against Measure U|
|Vote Yes on measure U Yes means No Roundabouts in Cotati.
The City has recently proposed changing Old Redwood Hwy from 4 lanes down to 2 lanes, with 2 Roundabouts in 1 block. Not that long ago, it was widened from 2 lanes to 4 to handle traffic. We believe that the Roundabout proposal will be detrimental to Cotati businesses, impact public safety, cause traffic congestion, and divert traffic through our residential streets.
Our Downtown Specific Plan said the tree lined, 4 lane Downtown Boulevard is 25 mph can handle 3400 cars per hour, and is what the majority of business owners have recommended. The proposed Roundabouts only handle 2600 cars per hour; we are already at 2500 cars. Why build something that is already maxed out before it is built.
The Fire Department raises concerns about 1 narrow lane and small roundabouts, making it difficult for emergency vehicles pass vehicles while responding to emergencies. Roundabouts have no stop signs or signal lights to stop traffic for safe pedestrian crossing, or bicycle lanes for bicyclist safety
The Traffic Consultant hired by the city stated: a signal light will control traffic flow just as well, and allowing breaks in traffic for cars leaving businesses or parking. Also stated Roundabouts wouldn't be effective unless installed at every intersection, due to the signal light at the intersection before and after the proposed Roundabouts. Because they calm traffic by causing congestion, (traffic like water takes the path of least resistance), the traffic would be diverted onto the residential streets.
Roundabouts will have a negative impact on the commute of the 90% of working residents who work outside of Cotati, and anyone who wants to visit or shop in Cotati.
s/ Patricia M. Minnis
Measure U could cost Cotati taxpayers $3.7 million and, according to CalTrans, roundabouts are less expensive to maintain.
Measure U's argument attributes statements to the traffic consultant that simply aren't true. Experts everywhere agree traffic flows more efficiently and is no problem for fire trucks and emergency vehicles.
Their argument says, "the majority of businesses" agree, yet no businesses are named. Redwood Cafe, Animal Hospital of Cotati, Friar Tucks, are just a few of the long established Cotati businesses that are opposed to Measure U. Our ballot argument is signed by a business owner, a longtime environmental leader, Cotati's Chief of Police, the Chair of Sonoma County Transportation Authority and Cotati's Mayor. Measure U's argument is signed by one person who opposes roundabouts.
Finally, their claim that roundabouts cause congestion because "traffic, like water, takes the path of least resistance;" truth be told, roundabouts are the path of least resistance. If the water analogy had merit, stop signs and traffic signals would cause traffic to flow onto side streets as opposed to roundabouts that keep traffic flowing freely in one direction.
Don't believe their unfounded claims. No on Measure U.
s/ Pat Gilardi
s/ Michael McCullaugh
s/ Prudence K. Draper
s/ Jay West
SONOMA COUNTY BICYCLE COALITION
|If you care about safety, if you prefer not to waste money and time, if you want a cleaner, healthier environment, vote no on Measure U. Defeating this measure means we can improve our Northern Gateway for $1.2 million less than the plan we'd be forced to use if Measure U passes.
Roundabouts mean safer streets for you and your family, virtually eliminating fatalities, reducing injury collisions up to 80% and reducing all collision types up to 51%. The US Department of Transportation calls roundabouts one of the "Top 9 Life-Saving Measures." Roundabouts are endorsed by State transportation agencies across the country, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Caltrans, and numerous police and fire agencies, including the Cotati Police Department. Alternatively, signalized intersections, where cars are traveling at higher rates of speed and prone to "T-bone crashes," result in more accidents causing death and serious injury.
Roundabouts mean less time at intersections waiting for a green light, wasting less gas, causing less vehicle pollution and noise. In addition, roundabouts create highly visible opportunities for landscaping and sculpture, making our city a more attractive place to live and visit.
This ban makes bad financial sense, costing Cotati taxpayers up to $3.7 Million. It jeopardizes an existing $1.1 million grant to improve our downtown, while simultaneously jeopardizing any state or federal grant for roadwork for the next three years. Banning roundabouts anywhere in Cotati forever means we will never be able to use a proven approach that moves traffic safely and efficiently.
This ban is simply too extreme. To the best of our knowledge, there is no similar anti-roundabout ordinance anywhere in the United States. This poorly written initiative has no place in our community. It's bad for traffic, bad for safety and bad for Cotati.
No on Measure U.
COTATI CITY COUNCIL
s/ Michael Parish
SONOMA COUNTY CONSERVATION ACTION
s/ Claire Fetrow
Roundabouts will cost Cotati millions of dollars more, The traffic engineer hired by the city stated roundabouts to work effectively they need to be installed at every intersection through town, Installing the additional 3 roundabouts needed will cost us approximately $10 million more, disrupting traffic approximately 6 month per roundabout installed. 1 year, 6 months that our small businesses may not survive, and a bill we can't afford.
Some Cities like Santa Rosa have had to remove roundabouts, Cotati had a temporary one they removed on Myrtle, because of citizen complaint and because a fire truck damaged it trying to maneuver around it.
Roundabouts are too radical and too costly for Cotati.
Yes on Measure U
s/ Patricia M. Minnis
|Full Text of Measure U|
|Section 1. Purpose
The purpose of this initiative is to prohibit the construction of roundabouts, traffic circles, and other similar traffic features anywhere in the City limits of the City of Cotati.
Section 2. Amendment to Title 11 of the Cotati Municipal Code
Title 11 of the Cotati Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding a new Chapter 1.11 entitled, "Chapter 11.11 - Roundabouts and Traffic Circles", and a new Section 11.11 thereto, which Section 11.11.010 shall read as follows:
11.11.101 - Roundabouts and Traffic Circles Prohibited.
The city is prohibited from constructing or utilizing, and is prohibited from requiring any public or private person or entity to construct or utilize, the traffic features com- monly known as "roundabouts," "traffic circles," or any similar traffic feature on or with respect to any public street or roadway anywhere within city limits. In no event shall the City's standard or other street specifications or improvement require- ments include any requirement requiring the construction and/or utilization of any roundabouts, traffic circles, and/or any similar feature. In no event shall the City carry out or approve a project to construct any roundabouts, traffic circles, and/or any similar features as a condition to the approval of any project or the issuance of any permit or permission.