SMART rail meeting turns testy over siding project in Rohnert Park-Cotati

SMART rail meeting turns testy over siding project in Rohnert Park-Cotati
By Sean Scully – The Press Democrat, July 17, 2013

Updated news regarding the SMART rail service phase 1, which is now scheduled to debut in 2016.

The board of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit system approved a $3.4 million passing track project in Rohnert Park and Cotati. The project will add a second set of tracks along about 4,000 feet and will allow the planned commuter rail trains to pass one another safely in both directions. The passing track in Rohnert Park and Cotati is one of four planned projects along the otherwise single-track line. Siding projects are also planned in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Novato. The change in configuration and location affects nearby landowners; shifting the location and switching the new tracks within a few feet of the rear fence line of a residential neighborhood.


SMART Cotati station ~ future Transit Center

Cotati SMART Train Depot

Cotati SMART Train Depot

The new SMART (Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit) Cotati train station and future Transit Center will be located at East Cotati Avenue and Santero Way, a few blocks east of the Rancho Cotati Shopping Center, near Oliver’s Market. Cotati’s ground breaking ceremony started last Fall on October 22, 2012 and the designated property is located along the existing train tracks. The development site has an abandoned school district warehouse dwelling with 2013 -2014 plans for demolition, making way for new depot construction, parking and retail spaces.

This new strategic SMART hub is centrally located to serve the future transportation demands of nearby Sonoma State University and their growing student population, expanding local businesses, and is also situated on the main artery connecting the central downtown community. 1 of the 2 Cotati freeway exits, West Sierra Avenue along the 101 corridor between Rohnert Park and Petaluma also connects into East Cotati Avenue enhancing vehicle accessibility to the SMART train station. Cotati has a long history of train activity, and the original railroad depot was also located on East Cotati Avenue.

The city of Cotati promotes and maintains a comfortable small town atmosphere in Sonoma County and hosts the annual Cotati Accordion Festival every August. Interesting trivia, Cotati’s hexagonal downtown plaza is one of only two hexagonal town layouts in the United States, and is a registered California Historical Landmark # 879.  The city’s unusual name is derived from the Kota’ti tribe-let of Coast Miwok Indians who populated the Sonoma County valley for generations and Vito Paulekas’s Chief Kotati statue in located in La Plaza Park waiting to greet new visitors and welcome residents home every day!

Groundbreaking This Afternoon for Train Deport and Pedestrian Plaza in Cotati The $1.6 million train depot is expected to take 170 construction days to complete.
By Bay City News Editor Karina Ioffee October 23, 2012

Cotati to break ground for train depot

Cotati gets the jump ahead of RP for SMART rail station
The Community Voice By Jud Snyder  August 12, 2010

Cotati Accordion Festival
La Plaza Park August 17-18 2013

Cotati, California,_California

Cotati Historical Society
*Original railroad depot photo located on East Cotati Avenue.
*Vito Paulekas’s Chief Kotati statue in La Plaza Park