Broadway Downsizes

Natalie Wetzel, Writer

Recently Broadway has made changes to its striping, merging two lanes to one lane although down. This reconfiguration has changed Broadway into a one lane road with bike lanes on either side along with parking. The plan to cut down to two lanes has been underway since 2020, but was jump started after a pedestrian was injured last April. The new construction creates shorter crosswalks reducing risk when crossing the street. This makeover to one of Sonoma’s main street costs around “$41,700 and $43,200,” according to the city staff report. 

With this change Sonoma residents have mixed feelings. For students and their parents it creates a unique problem when going to and from school if they attend Adele, SVHS, and even Presentation. With these three schools getting out at similar times, the now one lane road is packed after school. Students find themselves at a dead stop on Broadway. Before, even the two-lane road was congested, the one lane road only enhancing this. This traffic forces drivers to find alternate routes in surrounding neighborhoods creating more traffic in those surrounding neighborhoods. 

Not only does this change create more traffic but it creates a potentially dangerous environment, due to people being in a rush. With SVHS on Broadway, an abundance of new drivers are among the traffic.After a long school day, impatience, and inexperienced driving creates the perfect mix for an accident. On multiple occasions I have seen drivers use the new bike lane as a second lane, or as a turn lane. 

Although the city made this change to increase safety and create a promenade, it has instead increased the traffic.