This Letter was sent to the Sonoma County Supervisors by the Adelson's on 10/29/2011. The reply from Supervisor Valerie Brown follows (from the Bennett Valley Voice - http://bennettvalley.org)
We live on Sonoma Mountain Road (“SMR”). . . . We have owned our property since 1999. . . . Over the years, we have seen a dramatic and steady deterioration of the roadbed. It is full of potholes and bare patches; chunks of roadway pavement continue to accumulate along the sides of the roadbed. There is now a lengthy stretch of SMR (about 200 yards long) located about a quarter mile from our property that the County purposely converted from pavement (albeit pavement in poor condition) to dirt, rocks and depressions. Every vehicle that drives on this stretch of SMR produces dust; most drivers well exceed the 15 mile per hour posted speed limit, creating suffocating dust for the neighboring properties and anyone walking or bicycling there. Vehicles, bikes and motorcycles bump along, undoubtedly much like the feel of stage coaches. . . .
The rest of SMR is dangerous enough for vehicles (private, commercial, and emergency), motorcycles and bicycles, let alone walkers. But if all of SMR is to be allowed to disintegrate into the condition of the dirt stretch, SMR will no longer be usable for normal transportation purposes. . . . (My wife broke her leg recently; she suffered enormously while the ambulance drove over the dirt stretch; imagine if emergency vehicles had to cope with the entirety of SMR in the condition of the dirt stretch.) . . . .
We believe that SMR provides an important passageway. For those traveling between Santa Rosa and Glen Ellen/Sonoma, the alternative routes - - Highway 12, or Warm Springs Road/Bennett Valley Road - - are longer and more congested. . . .There is a reason why SMR was created in the first place: it traverses the mountain located between two heavily populated areas.
If any County road deserves to be given top priority, SMR should head the list. We ask that the Board of Supervisors find a way to include SMR among the “Priority Road network” so that the dreadful condition of this key roadway is improved and maintained. Thank you.
Ken and Karen Adelson
Supervisor Valerie Brown replied that although SMR is an important connector, the County already invested heavily in it to repair the slide that took out part of the roadway. Ken replied, “I have another take on the County’s heavy investment in repairing the slide on SMR: the County chose to repair the slide, rather than allow SMR to become two separate unconnected roads, in recognition of its importance as a connector between Santa Rosa and Glen Ellen/Sonoma. It doesn’t make sense to me to allow SMR to deteriorate into gravel after having spent the money to fix the slide.” Supervisor Brown replied, “Thanks Ken, and as I did for including Bennett Valley I will continue to advocate for SMR.”