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Police gear up for weekend casino traffic

Petaluma police said that while city traffic impacts from the newly opened Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park were minimal yesterday, the department is prepared for more this weekend.

"We saw a little extra traffic on the freeway, but nothing serious in our area," said Lt. Tim Lyons. "The real test will be Saturday."

Recent traffic studies have projected that the 3,000 slot-machine, Las Vegas-style casino north of Petaluma could bring as many as 10,000 additional cars daily to Highway 101. Public traffic advisories have recommended drivers use side-streets like Stony Point and Petaluma Hill roads to avoid bottlenecks on the highway.

In response, Lyons said Petaluma police are keeping an extra officer on patrol in Petaluma, plus an officer stationed at the Rohnert Park police department to assist with casino-related calls through Saturday night.

"We'll just have to wait and see if we need extra officers after that," said Lyons. "But so far, things have been working out pretty well."

The department fielded a few minor calls related to the casino, Lyons said, including a person who was reported lost and another who was drunk in public after leaving the casino.

(Contact Janelle Wetzstein at janelle.wetzstein@arguscourier.com)


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