MCBC Advocacy At Work MCBC Helps Bike Path Survive Challenge
Last summer the new bridge over Corte Madera Creek, immediately south of Larkspur Ferry, opened to great fanfare. The beautiful 12’-wide bridge path replaced a harrowing 4’-wide sidewalk that bedeviled riders for decades.
Following that work, the Transportation Authority of Marin planned to extend the new pathway another 900’ from the bridge’s southern landing to Industrial Way and the pedestrian bridge to Lucky Drive. However, the project hit a snag that was nearly fatal and had to be rescued by MCBC and fellow advocates. Read on about how the bike path survived thanks to MCBC’s rapid response.
Despite being ready for construction (and paid for by state and federal funding) one of Larkspur’s councilmembers tried to kill the project at their September 6th meeting. All the council needed to do was approve the construction, but councilmember Carroll took issue with it. He raised a host of complaints, namely that the nearby community (where he happens to live) had not been sufficiently consulted. He also stated that the pathway would be too noisy and that there wasn’t lighting. Finally, he would have preferred it be built on the east side of the street.
Whatever merit these complaints may have had (we like lighting and noise protection too), the fact of the matter was that to vote “no” on the project would have meant that nothing would get built and the funding would have returned to the state and federal government. We at MCBC were clear that, whatever its imperfections, the project would represent a substantial improvement over what is there today (see our letter here).
Councilmember Carroll’s objections resulted in the final decision being delayed two weeks. We leaped into action, lobbying the other three council members. There there is currently a vacancy on the Larkspur City Council, meaning that we needed everyone else’s vote if Carroll dissented. We also rallied local advocates to contact the city council in support of the project. After our conversations with the council (in which we had to correct some misinformation about the project), we were confident that we had three votes to advance the project.
Sure enough, the project was approved 3-1 at the September 20th City Council meeting. The city will be seeking to award the project to a construction firm by October 31, with construction beginning as early as November. We thank all the people who wrote to the city council, helping this important project move forward. We are one step closer to completing another 0.2 miles of Marin’s North-South Greenway.
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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.