SMART Project Update 2nd to Andersen Pathway Moving Closer to Reality

After two years of dispute and uncertainty, the question surrounding the 2nd to Andersen multi-use pathway appears not to be if, but when.

The completion of the pathway – a critical connection between the Cal Park Hill Tunnel and downtown San Rafael – would connect another challenging gap in the North-South Greenway, a long-envisioned route spanning the length of the County.



MCBC has been keeping a close eye on the project since 2015, when it nearly filed a lawsuit challenging SMART’s omission of the pathway parallel to its tracks. Thanks in large part to MCBC’s Save the SMART Pathway campaign with strong member involvement, local advocacy efforts, and support from San Rafael’s City Council, the once-dubious project is moving closer to reality.

With $1.25 million now in hand, the City of San Rafael and its consultants are moving forward with design and environmental review, working diligently to catch up to SMART’s construction on the parallel rail extension, which is expected to begin later this year.

MCBC was present for a project update in April, where consultants provided a glimpse into the pathway’s likely configuration.


Conceptual designs of the pathway south of Rice Drive (top) and north of Rice Drive (bottom). Drawings courtesy of Alta Planning + Design.

2nd to Anderson Pathway Timeline

It has been roughly one-and-a-half years since MCBC and Transportation Alternatives for Marin threatened a lawsuit against SMART for its omission of the pathway parallel to the Larkspur rail extension.

November 2015: SMART, MCBC, and Transportation Alternatives for Marin sign a legal agreement in response to dispute over pathway’s feasibility. In the agreement, SMART agrees to allow the pathway to be constructed within its right-of-way, if feasible, and $1m in funding is committed to the project by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

July 2016: County’s feasibility study finds that there is room for the pathway within and adjacent to SMART’s right-of-way.

September 2016: In response to MCBC’s push for additional funds, the TAM Board of Commissioners approves $250,000 for the project to help pay for environmental review and design.

January 2017: City of San Rafael hires Alta Planning + Design to work on environmental review and design.

March 2017: MCBC writes letter to San Rafael City Council asking for regular public updates addressing the extent to which the City of San Rafael, its consultants, and SMART are working together to ensure compatibility between rail, road, and pathway design and construction.

April 2017: Alta presents preliminary design concepts (shown above) at San Rafael Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting.

TBD: SMART awards bid for Larkspur construction.

TBD: 2nd to Andersen pathway receives environmental clearance.

TBD: 2nd to Andersen pathway receives remaining funds needed.

TBD: Pathway constructed by SMART contractors alongside rail and roadway projects.


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