D Street Re-Design FAQ

FAQ | Safe Streets Redesign of D Street     

Community information provided by SafeStreetsPetaluma.org

The City of Petaluma has held community workshops on the changes for D Street. The proposed redesign reflects resident desires and input. People asked for calmer traffic, more crosswalks, and bike lanes. The project enjoys broad support.

See pages 19-21 of the City’s presentation for more information and a map. The new design starts at Petaluma Blvd. South and continues west on D Street to the City limits. Note that the  2024 Quick Build redesign is an initial step towards a full 2025 road reconstruction project.

Q:  What is the proposed new street design?

A:  The redesign improves safety and the street for everyone – people walking, driving, and biking. The redesigned street will continue to have two driving lanes (one in each direction). The lanes will be reconfigured to create dedicated space for one on-street parking lane and two new bicycle lanes (one bike lane in each direction).

Q:  Will there be new crosswalks added, for crossing D Street?

A:  Yes. The City has committed to adding two new crosswalks across D Street at 10th St and Laurel Ave. Additionally, all crosswalks on D St will be updated with shorter crossing distances and flashing pedestrian-activated beacons.

Q:  Who’s really going to use the bike lanes, anyway?

A:  Lots of folks! When safe bikeways are provided, more people choose to get around by bicycle. The experience of other cities, and many studies, have shown this to be true. Families with children, young people, and adults will be able to safely ride on D Street to get to schools, downtown, parks, the SMART station, the library, and between the East and West sides.

Q:  Aren’t the existing painted bike “sharrows” good enough to ensure safety?

A:  No. They are no longer up to code. Class II bike lanes, at 6 feet wide, will be much safer for cyclists. Dedicated bike lanes also greatly benefit drivers, because they get bicyclists out of the driving lanes. Everyone avoids crashes.

Q:  How will the street look different from what is there now?

A:  Below is a diagram of the existing street space. It has no bike lanes. The proposed design follows. Note that parking will be consolidated into a single parking lane (on the south/inbound side from Sunnyslope to 8th St., and on the north/outbound side from 8th St to 4th St.) 

Q:  Can’t people just bike on quieter B Street or F Street instead?

A:  To cross from East or Midtown Petaluma to West Petaluma, people need to travel on D Street across the bridge. B Street is a bit of a hill and thus not suitable for bicyclists of all ages and abilities. F Street lacks dedicated bike lanes and has a crossing at Petaluma Boulevard  that is unsafe for all but the more experienced cyclists. D Street needs this traffic calming. And D Street would be a natural part of a proposed “Park2Park Crosstown Bikeway” connecting east and west to over two dozen parks, schools, and shopping opportunities from Putnam to Prince Parks. 

Q:  Will these new bike lanes and narrow drive lanes actually be safer?

A:  Yes. The City of Petaluma staff, and their engineering consultant, have ensured safe designs that follow code and national guidelines. The 6-foot wide bike lanes are generous. For these reasons, the design is judged to be safer and does not expose the city to legal liability.

Q:  D Street is a designated truck route, is it safe to add bike lanes?

A:  Yes. The new design adheres to national NACTO safety guidelines for truck routes. 

Q:  I don’t ride a bike. What’s in it for me?

A:  A lot! Here are some other benefits to brighten your day:

Questions about the street after the proposed redesign is implemented:

Q:  I am concerned that people will need to walk across D St. to get to my house.

A:  All blocks will have on-street parking; it may be just across the street. Visitors can cross more safely using the new and improved crosswalks. They can also park in your driveway, as space allows. Every house on D Street is close to a side street; people can also park around the corner on a side street if they don’t want to cross a street.

The same applies to delivery drivers. They may also park very briefly in the bike lane.

Q:  Can I put out my garbage, recycling and compost bins in the bike lane?  

A:  Yes. But for the safety of cyclists, please push them up against the curb and remove them as soon as possible on your garbage day. Better yet, put them in the planting strip above the curb, or at the end of your driveway.

Q:  Will there be enough parking for special events – like the Butter and Egg Days Parade?

A:  Yes. A parking assessment has shown that during special events, there is plenty of on-street parking in the neighborhood, within a couple of blocks. Safer bike routes will actually encourage people to bike to special events – thus reducing parking demand. Valet bike parking is provided!

Q:  What about emergency vehicles?

A:  They will continue to park as close as possible to the critical location. They can park in bike lanes, on the street, and even stop in a traffic lane if needed.

We look forward to seeing you walking, biking, or driving on D Street!

Join us and sign our declaration at the Safe Streets Petaluma website and on Facebook and Instagram