Road Advocacy Marin’s Bike Network: Winter 2022 Update

It’s time for a brief winter update on project developments around Marin. 

San Rafael 2nd Street Bikeway

On Monday, February 7th, the San Rafael City Council formally approved the long-planned project to build a two-way bikeway on the south side of 2nd Street between West End Avenue and Shaver Street. We’ve written about the project here and believe that it will be a game-changer for central San Rafael.

San Rafael 2nd Street Bikeway

The meeting was not without controversy. Due to a compromise the City Council had made some years ago to retain on-street parking (not our highest priority at MCBC), several median trees are slated for removal. Several local groups came out to protest the tree’s removal and asked that the parking be removed instead. However, according to city staff, this would also have required removing the buffer from the bike lane, something we could not accept, as the bike lane needs to be a truly all-ages-and-abilities facility. And the project will include the planting of 46 new trees through Downtown, which is badly in need of more shade.

San Rafael 3rd St Tree Planting
A number of our members wrote to Council to support the project moving forward, and several stayed up late to call in. The project was approved 3-1-1(with CM Hill abstaining, as he lives on the street).

Expect to see construction starting this summer and concluding sometime in Summer 2023!

Point San Pedro Road

Past Loch Lomond Marina, there has long been a gap in the bike lane when traveling past Bayside Park, where riders must choose between the sidewalk and taking the lane in 40-mph traffic. Last summer we covered this issue and the plan to close the gap.

Now the project is finally going ahead. Sometime in March, the road will be re-striped past Loch Lomond Marina to remove one of the two eastbound car lanes, adding a bike lane in its place (and maintaining the on-street parking). The westbound configuration will be unchanged. 

This is a win-win project. Traffic this far out on the peninsula is low enough that two lanes only encourage speeding. Parking gets maintained for the residents, and a bike lane gap gets closed.

Current Configuration - Bayview Dr. to Main Dr.

Proposed Configuration - Bayview Dr. to Main Dr.

The County is considering this a “pilot project” and will evaluate the performance of the new configuration over the summer, with a final decision in September 2022. We’ll be paying close attention to the project. 

Read more about the project, and subscribe to updates, here on the Marin County DPW website.

Corte Madera Creek Bridge

Construction continues on the Corte Madera Creek bridge, replacing the narrow, barely-useable 4’ path between Larkspur Ferry and Redwood Highway. While the project was slated to be open already, construction crews encountered a number of unmapped utilities throughout the process. This and other factors have resulted in the schedule slipping by five months. 

An opening date has not yet been announced, but it is expected to be shared in late spring/early summer. Keep an eye out for updates – we’ll be planning a ride across it on opening day! In the meantime, enjoy these photos of construction. 

Corte Madera Creek Path Construction

Corte Madera Creek Pathway Construction

SMART Pathway

While we haven’t seen any new segments of SMART path open for a while, there is exciting progress to report on. Thanks to our advocacy and hundreds of emails from our supporters, last year SMART allocated a truly massive amount of money toward final design and permitting of all of the still-unbuilt segments of pathway, a total of $13.4M. 

That money is starting to be put to work. At their February 2nd meeting, the board voted to approve permitting and design spending for all of the unbuilt segments in Sonoma County, and plan to do the same for Marin County on February 16th. 

This means we’re still a couple years from seeing concrete poured, but it’s a necessary step to bring everything to “shovel-ready” status, at which point the segments will be more competitive for federal, state, and regional grants.

We’re excited about the projects getting underway. There’s a lot of work left to do, no doubt, but thanks to strong leadership from our electeds and advocacy from members like you, we’re a couple steps closer.

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