News $20M For Bike Projects In Marin!
The first month of 2023 started out with great news for bike infrastructure in Marin, with projects across the county netting nearly $20M in state and regional grant funding. This post will provide a status update of a number of exciting projects, some of which we have covered before and some of which are new.
Hanna Ranch Road to Vintage Way
A short segment of the SMART pathway immediately south of the Vintage Oaks Shopping Center received a $1M grant for construction. While only half a mile in length, this piece of pathway will significantly improve connectivity by obviating the need for a five-mile detour involving two crossings of US 101 to get between Bel Marin Keys and Vintage Oaks. The segment connects an existing pathway that passes under the US 101/SR 37 interchange and the recently-completed multiuse path paralleling Rowland Boulevard (see below). SMART is finalizing the designs and no construction date is planned, but it should break ground in the next two years.
The Canal neighborhood of San Rafael is widely known to be cut-off from the rest of the city by US 580 and the canal waterway. Residents traveling to San Rafael High School or the Montecito shopping center have to walk or ride along the busy Francisco Boulevard E, cross the waterway at the Grand Street Bridge, and double back along 3rd Street. Many people are, no doubt, discouraged by this long and treacherous trip. Funding was recently received to plan and design a bridge that would cross the waterway from near the intersection of Canal Street and Harbor Street, connecting to 3rd Street just across from the San Rafael High School. Such a bridge would shave off a mile of travel for people walking or biking from the Canal to the high school or Montecito Market. More funding will need to be obtained to build the bridge after design is completed, but progress is being made.
The intersection of 2nd Street and 4th Street in San Rafael’s West End is a confusing mess and is fraught with danger for pedestrians or bicyclists crossing from 4th Street to West End Avenue on their way to Greenfield Avenue. A reconfiguration of this intersection is already underway, but San Rafael recently received funding for its construction.The design is not yet finalized, but we are happy with the direction it is going in. Check out the full post here for more information.
Canal Traffic Calming
While not a single large project, San Rafael also received funding to implement a substantial amount of pedestrian safety improvements in the Canal neighborhood. Curb extensions, improved crosswalks, flashing lights, new bus stops, and overhead lighting will all make the experience of walking around the neighborhood safer and more comfortable.
A project to extend the shared use path on the south side of Paradise Drive in East Corte Madera has been in the works for a while now. We’ve covered it here, before the city had settled on a proper pathway rather than paint-only bike lanes. The pathway will extend from its current eastern terminus at Westward Drive all the way to the edge of town, past Marin Montessori. The project is working through final design, but recently received funding for construction, meaning it should break ground in the next couple years.
The gateway to Marin from the south, Bridgeway is one of the busiest bike routes in the entire county, with around 1,000 daily riders during the warm months. Despite this the section through the southern part of Sausalito has no bike lanes, forcing drivers to make dangerous passes to get around roadies, tourists, and local riders alike. Happily, Sausalito has received funding to plan and execute bike lanes on the section between Richardson Street (at Golden Gate Market) and Princes Street near the ferry landing. This would entail reconfiguring the center turn lane, currently used illegally for delivery, and identifying nearby spots for safer, legal unloading. We have learned that there is some opposition organizing, meaning that support from the bicycling community will be particularly important. Look out for more information on this soon.
Rowland Blvd (Novato)
Novato has recently completed a half-mile segment of the North-South Greenway/SMART pathway running along Rowland Boulevard along the back of the Vintage Oaks shopping center. The project came about thanks to a suggestion from MCBC that the narrowing of Rowland Boulevard from four to two lanes be paired with the new trail.
2nd Street (San Rafael)
Construction continues apace on the project to install a two-way protected bike lane on 2nd Street between West End Avenue and Shaver Street. This will remove the need to travel on 4th St for people traveling between Gerstle Park and points west of San Rafael. Completion of the project is planned for Fall 2023.
McInnis Parkway to Smith Ranch Road (SMART)
SMART hopes to break ground soon on a segment of path (the first in Marin since 2021) between the Marin Civic Center and San Rafael Airport. The project would connect the existing pathway on McInnis Parkway to Smith Ranch Road. Design is currently being completed and construction is planned for Fall 2023 with completion in early 2024.
Supporters like you, who speak out for safer places to bike and give to MCBC, make projects like these possible. Thank you! Want to support this work? Give here. We’re working hard to ensure that there is always a full pipeline of projects in development so we can keep making Marin more bikeable every year.
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