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WBMLogo Walk Bike Marin News

August, 2011

In this Issue:

- WBM at the County Fair
- New Commuter Bike Connection
- NTPP Ribbon Cutting
- San Quentin Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Study

Visit the WalkBikeMarin website- the best place to go for current updates about project news and happenings in Marin. Recent highlights include:

WBM at the County Fair

Even in the 95+ degree heat, summer simply wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Fourth of July Fair, which welcomed 117,000 visitors - 3,000 more than last year! This year, the Department of Public Works’ (DPW) WalkBikeMarin was proud to have provided a vast non-motorized transportation display of all of the exciting and new facilities for cyclists and pedestrians that have recently been completed countywide as well as planning and corridor studies to keep expanding the walking and bicycling network in Marin.

DPW Assistant Director Craig Tackebery with Fair-goers

DPW Assistant Director Craig Tackebery
with Fair-goers

In the center of the fairgrounds near the Giant Ferris Wheel, WalkBikeMarin (WBM) shared its exhibits and displays in the shaded Garden Tent with our County colleagues from Parks & Open Space. WalkBikeMarin and Mike's Bikes of San Rafael once again proudly paired to offer fair-goers a chance to win a FREE commuter bicycle! Mike's Bikes - with nine Bay Area locations and two in Marin - generously donated a Globe Vienna bicycle, fully equipped with bike racks and saddle bags. In order to win the bicycle, fair attendees had to complete a set of questions on our electronic notebook regarding Marin’s bikeways and parks. Grad student and San Rafael native, Justin Sos, was the lucky winner of the bicycle, who plans to use it as his sole means of transportation at UCLA this year!

Also prominently displayed was a pictorial featuring the Department of Public Works American Public Works Association’s award-winning engineering feat, the Cal Park Hill Tunnel, which not only boasts a Class 1 bicycle and pedestrian pathway connecting San Rafael to Larkspur in just 1,100 feet, but which has also laid the groundwork/space for the future Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) segment extending from downtown San Rafael to Larkspur Landing.

Mike's Bikes winner, Justin Sos of San Rafael

Mike's Bikes winner, Justin Sos of San Rafael

One of WalkBikeMarin’s partner agencies, the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC), encouraged fair attendees to pedal to the Fair on a bike, exemplifying that bicyclists can stay lean while the earth stays clean. MCBC volunteers were on hand to offer free valet parking for bicycles from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. near the Main Gate.

And, next on the non-motorized transportation calendar, WalkBikeMarin joins MCBC to celebrate all kinds of cycling at Biketoberfest! Festivities return to Fairfax Sunday, September 25, from 11 AM to 6 PM. There will be excellent mountain and road bike rides in the morning, over 75 bicycle exhibitors - including WalkBikeMarin - and amazing live music. The event benefits, and is presented by, MCBC and A4B.

New at Biketoberfest this year! The Cargo Bike Jubilee, a festival within the festival, celebrating utility/hauling bikes. There will be family activities, fun games and demo rides of these two-wheeled, human powered automobile replacements.

There will be 24 breweries serving 40 different beers and great locally made food from some of the hottest gourmet food trucks. Biketoberfest has something for everyone and is a family friendly festival. Tickets are on sale now. Visit for details.

New Commuter Bike Connection Under Construction

You’ve probably driven past it a hundred times, and not given it a second look. Now, you’re cruising along Highway 101 between South Novato Boulevard Enfrente Road (Exit #459 off of Highway 101 southbound) in Novato, seeing all sorts of construction activity on the hillside and thinking, "...what the heck’s going on here?"

Commuter Bike Connection Sign It’s the new Commuter Bike Connection, and the City of Novato Public Works Department is well into the construction phase of a 0.6-mile Class I multi-use path for cyclists and pedestrians - completely separate from any lanes of traffic - to connect the existing path along South Novato Boulevard with Enfrente Road, through Inn Marin, along the west side of Highway 101.

The only current alternatives in this corridor are cycling on the southbound freeway shoulder, climbing up and over Redwood Boulevard, or a circuitous route over Sunset Parkway to Ignacio Boulevard to make this connection. The new path will provide a key connection on bicycle Route 5, linking Novato with central and southern Marin communities, and will complete the last remaining gap in the route between San Marin Drive in Novato and Mission Avenue in San Rafael. The existing path connection to the Pell Office complex at 504 Redwood Boulevard will be maintained.

Southbound Highway 101, Novato

Southbound Highway 101, Novato

This much-needed link between South Novato Boulevard and Alameda del Prado has been anticipated for many years, but it’s certainly been worth the wait. County of Marin District 5 Board of Supervisor, Judy Arnold explains, "The construction of this multi-use path is a major accomplishment in linking communities and contributing to a greener, healthier, more sustainable Marin."

The $2.1 million project is funded by $1.65 million of federal Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program funds, local Development Impact Fees of $307,834, plus a Bay Area Air Quality Management District Grant of $104,774, and $37,392 of City of Novato Revenue.

The contractor, Ghilotti Construction, is excavating for the two soil nail walls that will retain the hillside, and placing the excavated material in the low areas requiring fill to accommodate the new path.

Completion is scheduled for mid-October. Project components include grading, installation of soil nails, adding a sculpted shotcrete finish to the soil nail retaining walls, a concrete retaining wall at the southerly end of the project, concrete barrier at the northerly end of the project, fencing and paving.

When your relatives arrive in town for the holidays this year, you’ll be able to guide them on a safe, family bicycling trip and tell them you watched as a portion of Marin County transportation history was being made!

Ribbon Cutting for the Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP), Steps, Lanes and Paths Project, & Dedication of Steps in Honor of County Board of Supervisor Charles McGlashan


Former County Board of Supervisor, Charles McGlashan

Former County Board of
Supervisor, Charles McGlashan

The City of Mill Valley invited the community to a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Saturday, May 21, 2011 to celebrate the recently completed construction of a $1.08 million project to replace or add new stairs at six different locations in Mill Valley.

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony took place at the Old Mill Park Amphitheater, and was attended by city and County officials. Other participants included those who helped make this a successful project, such as representatives of CalTrans, Maggiora & Ghilotti, and Questa Engineers.


Commemorative Step near Wainwright Place

Commemorative Step near Wainwright Place

Dedication of Steps in Honor of Supervisor Charles McGlashan After the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, everyone was invited to participate in a half-mile hike from the amphitheater to the base of the steps that connect Wainwright Place and Monte Vista Avenue. City officials dedicated the steps in honor of Mill Valley resident Charles McGlashan, a County Supervisor who passed away earlier this year.

About the NTPP Steps, Lanes and Paths Project
The following are the six locations included in the project are:

  • Mirabel Lane - SLP 11 - Mirabel Ave to Ethel Ave
  • Molino Way - SLP 23 - Molino Ave to Florence Ave
  • Marion Lane - SLP 33 - Marion Ave to Cascade Drive
  • Steps connecting Wainwright Place to Monte Vista Avenue - SLP 39
  • Alcatraz Lane - SLP 51 - Lower Alcatraz Place to Upper Alcatraz Place
  • Magee Lane - SLP 54 - Magee Avenue to Lyon Place

Steps as seen from Wainwright Place

Steps as seen from Wainwright Place

The project was funded by a grant from WalkBikeMarin, the Marin County Department of Public Works’ implementation of the federal Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program. The project was managed by the City of Mill Valley, designed by Questa Engineering Corporation of Pt. Richmond, and constructed by Maggiora & Ghilotti, Inc. of San Rafael. The steps that connect Wainwright Place and Monte Vista Avenue were constructed with local recycled redwood milled by Parks Superintendent Rick Misuraca and Mill Valley Parks crewmembers.

In their 2010-2012 Workplan, the Mill Valley City Council identified the continued rehabilitation of prioritized Steps, Lanes and Paths for emergency egress and evacuation as a key priority. The new and renovated steps in this project will improve evacuation safety, provide safe routes to schools, and offer residents safe and effective alternatives to motorized transportation.

For more information on the Steps, Lanes and Paths project, contact Russ Eberwein, City of Mill Valley Senior Civil Engineer, at 415. 388. 4033 or email

For information on WalkBikeMarin and Marin County DPW’s Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program, contact Dan Dawson, Principal Transportation Planner, at 415. 499. 6287 or

San Quentin Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Study

Have you ever looked at the San Quentin prison area with those exceptional San Francisco Bay views, wondering how to get easy access to the area? Earlier this summer, the San Quentin Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Study was completed by Department of Public Works (DPW) staff, and is chock-full of ways to improve access to the public areas for transit users, bicyclists and pedestrians trying to get around and between Larkspur Landing, San Quentin Village, the eastern San Rafael business and industrial area, and improving connections to transit services at the same time.

San Quentin Final Study The Study identifies possible advancements and associated costs to help determine feasibility, and to aid in seeking grant funds for construction. Included in the Study are new sidewalks along Main Street in San Quentin Village and along East Francisco Blvd., a multi-use pathway adjacent to East Sir Francis Drake Blvd. continuing along the south side of Interstate 580 to Main Street, pedestrian crossing improvements at Andersen Drive and East Sir Francis Drake. It also looked at the challenging prospect of signalizing the Andersen/East Sir Francis Drake Blvd/I-580 intersection to handle future traffic volumes as well as bring pedestrians and bicyclists safely through the intersection.

The hope is to close several significant gaps in the bicycle and pedestrian network between Highway 101 and Point San Quentin so that you’d be able to ride your bike or walk, through the recently-completed Cal Park Hill Tunnel between San Rafael and Larkspur, and on to the quiet public beach in San Quentin Village. Plus, you could then continue north along the existing Bay Trail system that can be accessed from the foot of the Richmond - San Rafael Bridge.

If you’d like to learn more about the Study, download it at

Miller Creek/Las Gallinas Bicycle & Pedestrian Study
In the quiet community of Marinwood, another completed study boasts added value and safety for neighboring bicyclists and pedestrians. The Miller Creek Road./Las Gallinas Avenue Bicycle and Pedestrian Study looked at advancements along a portion of the North-South Bikeway on Miller Creek Road from the Highway 101 interchange to Las Gallinas Avenue, and south along Las Gallinas Avenue to Cedar Hill Drive just south of Lucas Valley Road. This corridor also is a crucial connection between connects San Rafael and Novato via the Pacheco Hill Path as it is part of countywide bicycle Route 5 and the North-South Bikeway, which will ultimately extend from the Golden Gate Bridge to Sonoma County.

The identified possible improvements along this corridor would allow you to travel between San Rafael and Novato more easily, as well as improve connections within the community, and encourage students to walk and bicycle to school. The physical improvements range in options from bicycle lane striping, new multi-use pathways, extending curbs to shorten crossing distances, providing new curb ramps, new roundabouts, and making adjustments to the southbound Highway 101 off-ramp Exit 457 (Miller Creek Rd.) to discourage "freeway jumpers" from using the community as an alternate commute-hour throughway.

If you’d like to learn more about the Study, visit the project webpage at

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