SMART Pathway Update Civic Center to N. San Pedro Nears Completion; 2nd to Andersen Moves Forward
People walking and bicycling between the San Rafael Civic Center SMART Station and Los Ranchitos / North San Pedro Roads will soon have a safe and direct connection thanks to a key SMART pathway segment parallel to the train tracks which is now nearly completed.
The .9 mile segment of pathway is a much-needed improvement for those walking and bicycling through the area, which previously required taking a circuitous route along the heavily trafficked Los Ranchitos Road. Pathway access points are shown with red markers in the map above.
The $1.3m project was funded in 2012 through a $350,000 grant from Caltrans and revenue from Measure Q, SMART’s quarter cent sales tax. SMART has long considered the project to be “construction ready,” with years of delay attributed to permitting issues.
For more images of the Civic Center – North San Pedro Road connection pathway, see our album here.
2nd to Andersen Pathway Continues to Advance
Construction crews begin work on the Larkspur rail extension. A parallel multi-use pathway connecting Cal Park Hill Tunnel with Downtown San Rafael will be built to the left of the tracks once it is designed, environmentally cleared, and fully funded.
Two miles to the south, SMART’s construction of the Larkspur rail extension is now underway, adding to the City of San Rafael’s urgency to move the 2nd to Andersen pathway towards (1) full design, (2) environmental clearance, and (3) funding – so the project can be incorporated alongside the rail construction.
Two of those three needs are currently being addressed: environmental clearance will go to the Council for its approval in early December, and the City recently awarded a contract to move the pathway towards full design by early-mid 2018. MCBC was particularly pleased to learn that the agencies are working together to ensure compatibility between the rail, pathway, and roadway configurations–a request we made in March 2017.
That leaves funding as the final hurdle associated with this project. Of the estimated $5m needed, the City has secured $1.25m. City staff indicated that it will pursue a number of grants in 2018 after unsuccessfully applying for funding in 2017. Until full funding is obtained, a phased construction approach is likely.
MCBC is currently assessing funding possibilities–including new opportunities established through Senate Bill 1 – for a Pathway Prioritization and Funding Plan (more on that below) and will provide an update in early 2018.
Overall Pathway Status
The other two Marin segments that SMART identified for construction in 2017 are currently underway in Novato. SMART contractors recently began building a .4 mile segment between the Novato San Marin SMART Station and Rush Creek Place and a short (but much-needed) connector between Grant Avenue and Franklin Avenue. Completion of both projects will be contingent on rainfall. To view SMART’s latest pathway progress map, click here.
MCBC and Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition are currently working on a SMART Pathway Prioritization and Funding Plan (expected in early 2018). The Plan will prioritize uncompleted pathway segments, estimate projected costs, identify potential funding sources for each segment, and ultimately inform where SMART’s Measure Q monies will be needed most so that SMART does not continue to deliver the pathway in a piecemeal fashion due to reliance on competitive grant funding.