Traffic Woes!

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124 Miles of CasinoTraffic! Traffic from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria's casino will affect not only Highway 101, but alternate routes such as Petaluma Hill Road and Stony Point Road and surface streets as well, especially in the City of Rohnert Park.  

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Hwy 101 Petaluma Northbound traffic (current)

124 miles of casino traffic. That's what we'd get on Highway 101 and local roads every twenty-four hours if the 3,000 slot machine casino proposed by the Graton Rancheria casino is built next to Highway 101 in Sonoma County.

According to traffic experts, each slot machine in a casino generates 13.6 car trips per day. The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria have been given 3,000 slots for their casino. That's 40,800 additional car trips per day - the equivalent of 124 miles of cars and buses if placed end to end. (see footnote at bottom of this page). 

With 40,800 or more additional car, bus and truck trips per day generated by the casino, we'll all be going nowhere fast. All the improvements and additional lanes will simply be consumed by the casino traffic, and we'll back to square one - stuck in traffic on Highway 101!

Caltrans refused to consider casino  traffic in their Highway 101 improvement projects traffic models.  It was simply ignored when all the improvements to 101 were being made.

Novato Narrows (current)

Novato Narrows:  Both former District 6 state Assemblymember Jared Huffman (now serving in Congress) and former state Senator Carole Migden spoke out against Caltrans refusal to consider the FIGR casino in the long-awaited Novato Narrows project, an $800 million project that could see no net improvement as a result of Graton Rancheria casino traffic.

 An entire land on 101 just for casino traffic:  Even at the casino cartel's own low figure of 18,000+ vehicle trips per day, Rohnert Park casino traffic would need an entire lane all its own on Highway 101 from the Golden Gate Bridge to Rohnert Park in both directions. Could the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria mitigate this?  Well, according to Caltrans, it costs $20 million to build one lane of freeway one mile in one direction

 Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Chairman Greg Sarris promised to mitigate "all impacts" from the casino.  He even stated (KSRO Marcy Smothers Show, July 2005) that he would build new lanes "all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge" if it were necessary!  Does anybody really think the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria-Station Casinos gambling syndicate would spend this kind of money, just so you can get to work on time?

Most of any money needed to make improvements to accomodate the traffic from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria's casino would be YOUR money - federal and state tax dollars!!

This isn't just scare tactics: the situation is so unnerving that in 2004, the Sonoma County Transportation Authority sent a three page letter sent to Sacramento that asked the Governor not to grant a compact for this site until all the traffic concerns had been addressed.  They have not been addressed in a meaningful way, but Brown ignored this letter and gave Graton a compact for 5,000 slot machines.

The big problem is, the traffic impact, like most of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria's casino project's impacts, cannot be mitigated.  The public will pay in dollars and cents, in time, and in quality of life.

Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Greg Sarris claims that casino opponents' traffic projections have no basis in fact.  Wrong again, Mr. Sarris!  Read the traffic study used by State Senator Loni Hancock in 2005.  This is how the experts estimate casino traffic, using an industry-standard formula based on the number of slot machines in a casino.
Why is casino traffic different?  A study in Connecticut by the State's Southwestern Regional Planning Agency found that casino traffic differs from traffic generated by shopping centers, tourist attractions and office parks because of two things:
1.  Casino traffic is not seasonal; the number of trips to and from casinos is relatively consistent from month to month.
2.  Casinos operate 24 hours per day; there is no peak travel period to and from casinos thus traffic impacts of casinos may be experienced at all times of day.

See the traffic flow charts from the casino's own environmental study:

Flow Chart: Traffic Entering Casino

Flow Chart: Traffic Leaving Casino

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A Taste of Things to Come?
Stuck in Casino traffic 24/7!



5,000 HOURS STUCK IN TRAFFIC: that's what Sonoma County drivers spend stuck in traffic on Highway 101. 5,000 hours. More than a year of work days.

In fact, Sonoma County is the only Bay Area county to experience an increase in congestion; by 2003, delays on Highway 101 in Sonoma County increased 18%, up 44% from 1999. Morning, noon or night - it doesn't matter. If you're driving Highway 101 in Sonoma County, you're stuck in traffic.

5,000 hours. That's pretty bad. But what if it were 10,000 hours? What if it took more than the usual half hour to drive the seven miles from Rohnert Park to the County Administration Center in North Santa Rosa? What if it took an hour just to get from Rohnert Park or Cotati to the County Courthouse?

What if you lived in Rohnert Park, and wanted to shop at Costco or Target or Wal-Mart, but it took you 45 minutes to get to the other side of town, because the casino traffic was backed up three miles? What if you were in an ambulance headed for the hospital in Santa Rosa, but were stuck in traffic on Highway 101?

What if all the work that's been done to date on the freeway and the alternate routes like Stony Point Road, as well as the new lanes to be added on Highway 101 in the future did nothing at all to make your commute faster and easier?

That's what will happen as a result of the Graton Rancheria casino.That's why we have to keep fighting until we stop it!

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CLICK HERE to read the Sonoma County Transportation Authority letter to Sacramento (PDF)

Read Project 101's letter to Rohnert Park-CLICK HERE

Looking at Casino site from Rohnert Park

PETALUMA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE says traffic from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria's casino would be "detrimental to businesses throughout Sonoma County".   Read the letter HERE!


13.6 cars per slot x 3,000 slots = 40,800 car trips per day

40,800 x 16' length cars/buses/vans averaged out = 652,800'

652,800' divided by 5,280' per mile = 124 miles miles rounded off.

  Graton Casino Crime Watch, Rohnert Park, CA
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