Petaluma Residential Parking—Deja vu…once again

The residential parking issue exploded on Nextdoor yesterday.  It was, as Yogi Berra once said, “…déjà vu all over again.” (See Link Below)

By way of a brief history there was a time when the residential streets were filled with RVs, trailers, boats, cars, etc. to a density in some areas making the streets look like they were encased by walls…

All the Sturm & Drang from that era (admittedly, I was part of it…some would say the instigator) led to an Abandoned Vehicle Ordinance requiring vehicles to be moved after three days…a distance of three miles.  The purpose was to eliminate using the streets as storage locations.

The Police Department had the task of enforcing the ordinance and the situation did improve because of their efforts.

That was Then…This is Now

In our part of town I suspect that the major part of the current problem is that many people are living here now (renting rooms in homes) having been displaced by the fires the last two years—They are regular people who come and go to work, school, etc. on a daily basis.  This in itself dramatically increases the number of vehicles on the street.

In our local ‘Hood, finding parking at night is a challenge and the loss of a parking space due to boats, RVs, and vehicles being stored on the street–by anyone–needs to be addressed.

According to information from the Police Department on current enforcement of the Abandoned Vehicle Ordinance 

“We can respond to every complaint regarding abandoned vehicles that is submitted by calling the mainline at the PD… 778-4372, Ext. 0. We may not get out there immediately, as we have one Abandoned Vehicle Abatement Officer that works 4 days a week. He is responsible for all of these complaints throughout the City of Petaluma.”

“Every time our AVA officer tows a vehicle, it can take up to an hour per vehicle, as he is required to stay with the vehicle until the tow truck driver leaves. He can barely keep up with the complaints that come in. When a vehicle is tagged, he needs to go back after 72 hours to check for compliance. Every time there is a tow required, that cuts into his follow-up time. As there is a never ending list of vehicles to follow up on, it leaves no time to be proactive. We would love to have more staff dedicated to abandoned vehicle abatement, but the current budget does not allow that.”



There is no question that the City has budget limitations and constraints.  That has been the case for quite some time and we have to accept that reality.  However, I sometimes wonder if there is not a little “bureaucratic passive aggression” at play also.  It would only be natural.

  • Working with what we do have, I suggest better communication to the public about what the parking laws are and highlighting this on the City Web Page and Police Web Page.  Make it clear how and where to report parking issues. Remember, not everyone knows that there is such a thing as the Abandoned Vehicle Ordinance. Put it on the front page!!
  • Make use of the other police staff. Too many times I have seen units, not on call, repeatedly drive (in one case walk) by vehicles parked in front of fire hydrants or on intersection corners.
  • City Council–Is it time to review the ordinance? Toughen up the penalties?  Repeat offenders get immediate ticket and towed immediately? As it is now, people are just moving them around and taking up parking space elsewhere. I leave it to your lawyers.


Density in our neighborhoods is inevitable. It is happening everywhere, especially neighborhoods that are more affordable. It won’t get better.

  • We are going to have to accept the reality of not being able to  regularly park in front of our own home.
  • Increased vehicle density often presents challenges in setting out the cans for the weekly pick-up. In our case we are able to use part of the driveway to set them out if there is a vehicle parked there. Perhaps Recology has some suggestions on where to place the containers.
  • Be sure to report Abandoned Vehicles to the Police Department…and keep reporting.


From Nextdoor Using Your Street to Park Trailers





Petaluma’s Smokey Skies…Post Butte County Fire

“Sometimes all I need
Is the air that I breathe”*

11/10/2018 7:54 am

11/17/18 7:19am

Fortunately we may be  receiving some rain this week to help restore a little blue in the skies!


*”The Air That I Breathe”  by Albert Hammond sung by The Hollies

Project Linus 2018 Craft Faire

The mission of Project Linus is…”to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. We do this by giving them gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created for Project Linus by Volunteer Blanketeers.”

“The Blanketeers are part of our mission, as well: we seek to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.”

  • The North Bay Chapter of Project Linus currently has 70 plus members and more are invited to join!
  • Saturday, November 3, 2018 we will “open the doors” for our Annual Holiday Fundraising Craft Bazaar…

Slideshow of past Holiday Craft Bazaars to tempt and entice you to stop by…

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The members of the North Bay Chapter in Petaluma have created and delivered 15,656 blankets since the chapter was founded.  RECIPIENTS INCLUDE…Petaluma Health Ctr., Petaluma Hospice, Petaluma Police Dept., Petaluma Valley Hospital, Project Keep, Pt. Reyes Clinic, Queen of the Valley Hosp., Redwood Children’s Ctr., Rohnert Park Health Ctr., Santa Rosa Birth Ctr., SAY, Sonoma Valley Health Ctr., Sutter Valley Health Ctr., TLC Child & Family Services., Verity, Women’s Recovery Serv., YWCA Sonoma County, 4C’s Childcare, 4C’s Cloverdale, Aurora Behavorial Health, Blue Bag Program, Bridges Pregnancy Ctr., CalParents, Camp Chance, CAP(Community Act Partnership), CARE, CASA, Center for Domestic Peace, Child Start Therapeutic, Christmas Cheer, Community Violence Solutions, Crossing the Jordan, Get on the Bus, Interfaith Shelter Network, Marin Community Clinics, Marin General, Marin Pregnancy Clinic, Memorial Hosp., Napa County Social Serv., Petaluma Birthright

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Petaluma Volunteer Rebuilders On The Job!

Rebuilding Together Petaluma volunteers spent today at five locations performing critical home repairs and revitalization projects for our low-income neighbors in need. I captured images of two of the groups and share them with you below!

Faces of October!!

Summer is now a memory and October is in full force. 

I offer these images of a 12 inch sunflower bloom turning to seeds that best expresses the season in our Garden Habitat…

The design work was a cooperative project with the birds who created the eyes–my index finger finished their “Art” project.

In Petaluma When is “North”…”East”?

THE ANSWER–It depends upon where you stand. 

A fuller explanation follows at the end of this article. But first, a little background is in order…

Petaluma’s Water St. in the downtown area recently required a little repair work as some of the cobblestones were sinking…

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Part of the “renovation” included a stone compass in the walkway by the Balshaw Bridge…

By my observations on The Streets of Petaluma over the last few years, this is the second such pedestrian compass. The first one is discussed in The Corner of Main & Washington…

Of course I checked the accuracy of this installation and found it to be spot on as with the first one…

Some may wonder why North points to what is commonly called “The East Side” or “Petaluma East”. Well, it is also true of the compass at Main & Washington.


  • The line demarking the East Side from the West Side was originally set at Petaluma Blvd… formerly known as Main St.  As the City expanded, the line moved to The 101 with the area between Petaluma Blvd and the Freeway informally denominated the Old East Side. Kathleen Martini recalls life on Petaluma’s Old East Side
  • The answer to the question posed in the title of this post is almost straightforward 🙂 Magnetic North is a fixed line while the streets and freeways do not follow such dictates–they often wander in all directions of the compass. You can call the streets and roads North or South or East or West but they do not take a straight line to the goal.  Much like life, I suppose 🙂

Offered by yours truly, An East Side Resident…standing on Water St. looking North to the East Side.

Or am I a North Side Resident? 🙂