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December 15, 2010

1. Cal Park Tunnel now OPEN!

2. Invest in the future of Marin’s bicycle network by giving a year-end gift

3. MCBC Membership Bottles, maps, and jerseys make great gifts for cyclists

4. Cal Park Tunnel media coverage: rave reviews

5. MCBC seeks part-time Volunteer & Activities Coordinator

6. Video: “What on Earth!” a short film from 1966

7. Test-ride bike share technology: December 17 & 18

1. Cal Park Tunnel now OPEN!
Hundreds attending opening celebration

Ribbon Cutting
Entering the tunnel

Friday, December 10 th, 2010, marked a historic day in Marin County when the Cal Park Tunnel was officially opened to a cheering crowd of 300 cyclists and walkers. After the opening ceremony, which included speeches from elected officials, MCBC’s Deb Hubsmith, the Marin County Department of Public Works, and Caltrans, everyone took their chance to walk or ride through the tunnel - last used by freight trains in the 1970's.

"This is one of the happiest days of my life," said Deb Hubsmith, Advocacy Director for MCBC, from the main stage. MCBC worked since its inception in 1998 to open the tunnel by collaborating with public agencies. Other local citizens, such as Jean Starkweather, had been laying the groundwork for an eventual re-opening of the tunnel for some 20 years prior.

The tunnel will be open seven days a week from 5am until 11pm. The total length of the pathway is just over a mile; the tunnel itself is 1,100 feet. Riding between San Rafael and Larkspur now takes 15 minutes less if you use the tunnel route instead of Anderson Drive to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, and it will be faster to ride a bike between the two destinations than to drive in rush hour traffic.

The Cal Park Tunnel was originally constructed in 1884 with significant renovations taking place in the mid-portion of last century. Originally designed to haul lumber and freight, and then later passengers, the tunnel was sealed shut in 1978 after a series of fires and structural collapses made it unsafe to occupy. Today it will carry bicyclists and pedestrians between Larkspur and San Rafael. It is also part of the future SMART corridor with a planned train station just behind the Larkspur Century Theater. Bicyclists and pedestrians are completely separated from the future train by a tunnel within a tunnel, and the tunnel includes cell phone access, security cameras, lighting, ventilation, and emergency access points. The tunnel can be accessed via a pathway on the southbound lane of Anderson Drive in San Rafael, just across from the Office Depot, and just behind the Larkspur Century Theater in Larkspur (very close to the Marin Airporter).

MCBC thanks the following agencies for their work to help make this historic and keystone project possible: the County of Marin, SMART, the Transportation Authority of Marin, Caltrans, the City of San Rafael, the City of Larkspur, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, MTC and the untold thousands of supporters of MCBC over the years.

To see coverage of the tunnel opening in the media, including a video of Deb Hubsmith’s speech, see item 4 below.

And keep an eye out: we’ll be posting a photo gallery of the event later this week. We’ll send out an email blast and post a link on the home page.

2. Invest in the future of Marin’s bicycle network by giving a year-end gift
Donate today to MCBC’s year-end Annual Fund campaign

Donate Today!Have you had a chance to ride through the Cal Park Tunnel yet? If you have then you’ll know what we mean when we say “world-class bicycle facility!” The 1.2 mile bike path shaves 15 minutes of the ride between the Bettini bus station in San Rafael and the Larkspur Ferry Terminal, and gets cyclists off a dangerous section of Sir Francis Drake Blvd. near San Quentin Prison. It is a key component of bicycle Route 5 (parallel to north-south Hwy 101), the spine of Marin’s countywide bicycle network.

But there’s still much work to be done to connect the Cal Park Tunnel with the Sandra Marker path to the south and going through the Alto Tunnel to Mill Valley.

Did you receive MCBC’s donation envelope that we sent out a few weeks back? Please consider helping MCBC get more people out of cars and onto bikes by making a one-time year-end donation to our Annual Fund. So far we’ve raised over $2,000 for our “Don’t Drive, Take Route 5” campaign. Plus those donations are matched dollar for dollar, thanks to a $10,000 matching grant from the Marin Cyclists. If each of our 1,700 members gave just $10 each, we’d be able to collect the full $10,000.

Please make your contribution with the envelope we mailed you in November, or donate online by clicking here. All donations of $25 or more from expired members will automatically renew your membership for 1 year.

Thank you for supporting MCBC’s work to make Marin County a model bicycle community.

Membership in a Bottle3. MCBC Membership Bottles, maps, and jerseys make great gifts for cyclists
Available at your local bike shop

Looking for the perfect gift for the cyclist on your holiday list? How about an MCBC Membership Bottle? We put a membership, along with a few extra goodies, inside a water bottle and sell them at bike shops throughout Marin County. It’s an easy way to gift a membership, which supports the development of more bike paths and safer roads, includes the Marin Bicycle Map, and discounts at bike shops. Plus, it gives you something to put under the tree!

The MCBC jersey also makes a great gift for both road and mountain bikers. It’s available at four local bike shops: Fairfax Cyclery, 3 Ring Cycles in San Anselmo, and Mike’s Bikes in San Rafael and Sausalito.

And the Marin Bicycle Map is the best resource for on road and off road biking in Marin and makes a great stocking stuffer.

So give a gift from MCBC this holiday season and support the organization that’s making it easier and more enjoyable to ride a bike in Marin. Check out the jersey here and the map content here.

4. Cal Park Tunnel media coverage: rave reviews
Another chance to participate in this fun bike event!

The opening of the Cal Park Tunnel is such a big event, we’re giving it double billing! If you missed the opening, check out what the media has been saying:

  • Deb Hubsmith at the speaker's podium Watch a YouTube video of Deb Hubsmith’s speech here.
  • “In what was one of the most incredible showings of humanity for the opening of a bicycle & pedestrian path anywhere in the U.S., hundreds of cyclists - and hundreds more walkers and elected officials - showed up on a Friday afternoon to cut the ribbon on the long-awaited Cal Park Tunnel.” Watch the video here.
    -- Marin County’s Cal Park Tunnel (finally) opens to much fanfare!, Streetfilms
  •  “It was a party Friday afternoon as more than 300 people gathered to help open the revamped Cal Park Hill Tunnel, an 1,100-foot tube that will funnel bicyclists, pedestrians and eventually trains between San Rafael and Larkspur in an area just east of Highway 101.”
    -- Cal Park Hill Tunnel opens to the public amid cheers, Marin IJ
  •  “For Marin County, [the tunnel] removes a key obstacle in the county's North-South Greenway that runs from the Golden Gate Bridge to Novato, said Andy Peri of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.”
    -- San Rafael tunnel opens along SMART rail line, Santa Rosa Press Democrat
  •  “Hundreds of joyous Marin County cyclists pedaled through the Cal Park Hill tunnel Friday afternoon as officials cut the ribbon on a $27 million holiday present that supporters hailed as a national model for green transportation.”
    --Cal Park Tunnel Opening Ceremony Sees Hundreds of Cyclists, StreetsBlog
  • “The reopened tunnel is an impressive accomplishment, which was reflected in Friday's turnout of 300 people, many of whom worked hard to make it happen.”
    -- Cal Park tunnel opening good news for bike riders, Marin IJ
  •  “The Cal Park Hill Tunnel was officially opened last Friday and, according to Patrick Seidler, president of WTB and the non-profit TAM (Transportation Alternatives for Marin), will be a game changer when it comes to shifting people’s consciousnesses about the efficacy of future bike/ped projects.”
    --Cal Park Hill Tunnel: A game changer, Bike Monkey
  •  “The Cal Park Hill Tunnel, which starts at the industrial south end of San Rafael and empties out behind the Century Larkspur Landing movie theater, is only 1,106 feet long. But it is a precious 1,106 feet because it will cut 20 minutes off the commute.”
    --Marin bicyclists get San Rafael-Larkspur tunnel, S.F. Chronicle

Or watch this YouTube video of the ride through the tunnel (click below, or click here).

5. MCBC seeks part-time Volunteer & Activities Coordinator
20 hours per week position at our Fairfax office

Outreach with MCBCMCBC is seeking a part-time Volunteer and Activities Coordinator for its Fairfax office to utilize MCBC’s excellent volunteer resources and assist with event implementation. The Volunteer and Activities Coordinator will be responsible for assisting with the successful implementation of MCBC’s many marketing and membership campaigns, activities and events, under the direction of the Membership Director.

The Coordinator must have the ability to interact with staff at all levels and volunteers in a fast paced environment, sometimes under pressure, remaining flexible, proactive, resourceful and efficient, with a high level of professionalism. The ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously, and follow through on tasks in a timely manner is critical.

The position offers involvement with coordination of all of the non-profit’s public outreach activities, requires focus on MCBC’s marketing and fundraising areas, and provides the opportunity for using a wide variety of skill sets. If you are an outgoing, motivated multi-tasker who loves working with people and organizing events, this job will keep you fulfilled. This position reports to the Executive Director and the Membership Director, depending on the tasks being completed.

For a complete list of qualifications and specific duties, click here.

Hourly position for 20 hours per week, on average
Partial Health Benefits (50% paid – pro-rata with weekly hours worked)
Compensation is $17 - $20 per hour, depending on experience

All applicants must provide a resume and cover letter to:

Kim Baenisch, Executive Director
Marin County Bicycle Coalition
P.O. Box 1115
Fairfax, CA 94978
Fax: 415-456-9344

Interviews will be conducted in January; position to be filled by February 1, 2011.

What on Earth!6. Video: “What on Earth!” a short film from 1966
To Martians cars appear to be the dominant race on Earth

This animated short proposes what many earthlings have long feared – that the automobile has inherited the planet. When life on Earth is portrayed as one long, unending conga-line of cars, a crew of extra-terrestrial visitors understandably assume they are the dominant race. While humans, on the other hand, are merely parasites. An Oscar® nominee, this film serves as an entertaining case study.

View the video here on the National Film Board of Canada’s website.


7. Test-ride bike share technology: December 17 & 18

Bike Share

Bikes like these from Bixi of Montreal would be available in the Bay Area under the pilot bike-sharing program.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition writes:

Bike sharing is rolling forward, with cities around the world operating successful bike-share programs that are helping more people take short, convenient city bike trips. Recently the Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted to fund a regional bike share program for San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the first regional bike sharing program in the country.

This Friday and Saturday, December 17 and 18, you can check this concept out when the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency hosts a Bicycle Sharing Technology demonstration. Come test ride the bicycles and kiosk stations and experience technology currently in use in cities such as Washington DC, Denver, Montreal, London, Chicago, Melbourne, and Minneapolis.

Bike sharing is a great way to help more people take short trips by bike and to connect bikes and transit. For bike share to be successful here in San Francisco, especially with so many kiosks located along Market Street, it will be critical that it is accompanied by improvements to our streets, like a fully separated bikeway the length of Market Street, so that people of all ages will feel comfortable, confident and safe on a bike. Mayor Newsom has been a champion of this bike share program and of a fully separated bikeway the length of lower Market Street, and we're pushing for his continued leadership on both these issues so that they become a successful legacy. Read more about the regional Bike Share plan in the SF Chronicle.

Details: Dec. 17 and 18 (Fri. and Sat.) from 10:00am-3:00pm, Civic Center Plaza in front of City Hall

Marin County Bicycle Coalition
P.O. Box 1115
Fairfax, CA 94978
Office Location: 733 Center Blvd., Fairfax, CA 94930
(415) 456-3469 – phone
(415) 456-9344 – fax

The MCBC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. You donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

We are a membership-supported group. If you are not already a paying member, please join today. Printable membership forms are on our website,

Thank you for being a part of the solution.

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