City of Petaluma's Deputy Director of Public Works and Utilities Larry Zimmer was quoted as saying: “We worked very closely with the community, particularly those concerned with the trestle and we did everything we could to maintain the historic aspects as opposed to going a simpler route to remove it and replace it in kind with something that looks like it and is built in the same manner as the existing trestle.” 

Cobblestones running alongside the river at Balshaw Bridge are in a similarly dilapidated state and the city is currently working on a design and fix for this summer.

In the meantime, the area remains cordoned off to the passing public. Petalumans may well have become numbed to the eyesore, though rat infestations of the immediate area made the local news this past winter, highlighting the issue to a broader audience. 

What does this say to visitors to this otherwise charming downtown? It's a ridiculous mess in every respect. 

Thankfully, there are lots of people in town who are doing their best to keep a focus on this debacle and in a positive way. I think the upcoming Piano Festival and Petaluma Promenade Honky Tonk Piano Competition will bring a renewed focus within the community to the dire need for improving our lot with regards to the riverfront at the turning basin. 

Kudos to 2017 Good Egg, Petaluma Pete, The Block, Petaluma Chamber of Commerce, local businesses and a bunch of awesome local artists who have taken on the beautification of a fleet of old pianos these past few months. 

Here are a few of the painted pianos that are featured around town and will be played at the festival in September (official Petaluma Pete Day):

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Artist Jonny Hirschmugl's blossom and river themed painted piano 

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Petaluma's Salute To American Graffiti artist Elise Durenberger's terrific take on a painted piano 

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