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WBMLogo Walk Bike Marin News

December, 2011

In this Issue:

- Grand Opening Ceremony of Enfrente Pathway
- BOS Approved Funding Allocations
- Tennessee Valley Pathway Improvement Project
- Biketoberfest Success
- Annual Counts Show Continuing Increases in Walking and Bicycling

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

Ribbon Cutting/Grand Opening Ceremony of Enfrente Pathway / Commuter Connection in Novato!

Enfrente Pathway Near Completion

Marin County Department of Public Works, City of Novato, and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition are very pleased to announce the grand opening of Novato’s new
Enfrente Pathway/Commute Connection in Novato. Join us all for the ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, December 16th at 3PM.

You're welcome to join a bicycle ride to the Enfrente Pathway ribbon cutting celebration. Cyclists will meet at the Pacheco Pathway/Alameda del Prado intersection (near the south-bound off-ramp of Highway 101 just south of the Best Western/Novato Oaks Inn) on Friday, December 16th at 2:15 PM.

Commuter Bicycle/Pedestrian Pathway Splits

The new Class I multi-use pathway will connect the existing path along South Novato Boulevard with Enfrente Road along the west side of Highway 101. The path will provide a key connection on the North-South Greenway, linking Novato with central and southern Marin communities. In addition to its regional significance, the path will provide a connection for Hamilton, Bel Marin Keys, and Ignacio residents and workers to the rest of Novato. For residents near the southern end of South Novato Boulevard, the path will also provide easy access to retail shopping to the south.

BOS Approved Funding Allocations

We’ve seen the overwhelming effect of the good works of the County of Marin’s Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) since its inception in 2005, when a federal transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, allocated $25 million to the County to determine whether bicycling and walking can result in a greater share of overall trips and thus reduce single-occupant vehicle usage. This past spring, the Marin Independent Journal reported that, countywide, walking had increased by 10% and bicycling increased by 47% since 2007! No small feat considering the planning, construction, implementation, and funding of 27 major projects, six planning studies, and 12 outreach programs, many of which are already completed.

The Board of Supervisors voted in August to authorize Department of Public Works’ staff-recommended allocations for the continuance of funding the remaining approved NTPP projects (now in various planning, design, or construction phases). This is made possible via the extension of SAFETEA-LU monies, plus, a collection of local pilot projects’ excess funding (projects which ultimately were completed under their original estimated cost).

A total of $8.6 million – a combination of those SAFETEA-LU supplemental funds and local project surplus funds – has been allocated to such projects as Novato’s new Commuter Connection-Enfrente Road, Tennessee Valley Pathway Improvements, plus various steps, lanes and paths in Larkspur and Mill Valley. The funding package also includes $600,000 for a detailed Alto Tunnel engineering and legal feasibility study, plus $1.5 million to complete San Rafael’s Francisco Boulevard East improvements construction, which features the widening of the Grand Avenue Bridge and the new, safe pedestrian/bicyclist pathway between Vivian and 2nd Street.

As stated in the federal transportation bill, “The purpose of the [non-motorized transportation pilot] program shall be to demonstrate the extent to which bicycling and walking can carry a significant part of the [County's] transportation load and represent a major portion of the transportation solution.

The support of the Marin bicycling and walking community and government agencies – at all levels – are helping to ensure that happens.

Tennessee Valley Pathway Improvement Project

Pictured left to right: Tamalpais Community Services District’s Jeff Brown, 3rd District Board of Supervisor Katherine Sears, Marin County Bicycle Coalition Advocacy Director Andy Peri, Former Marin County Supervisor Annette Rose, Marin County Bicycle Coalition Advisor Deb Hubsmith, and Former 3rd District Board of Supervisor Charles McGlashan’s widow, Carol Misseldine.

On October 5, 2011, Third District County of Marin Supervisor Kathrin Sears and key staff from the Department of Public Works hosted an afternoon groundbreaking ceremony in Mill Valley, celebrating the start of construction of the $4.7 million (estimated) Tennessee Valley Class 1 Pathway Improvement Project.

Four and a half years in planning and design, the project improvements will provide an accessible multi-use pathway between Marin Avenue and the Mill Valley - Sausalito multi-use path, including a signalized crossing of Shoreline Highway and a new pedestrian bridge to the Tam Junction commercial area.

3rd District Board of Supervisor, Kate Spears, commented “The community is excited about this long-awaited project. It’s an honor to watch the progress of such collaboration between federal, state, and local agencies. Such collaboration ultimately brings better environmental sustainability and improved green methods for residents and visitors to move in and around Tam Valley.”

The Tennessee Valley segment of the improvement project - Phase I - is now underway, with Maggiora & Ghilotti, Inc. as its General Contractor, and Questa Engineering Corp. as construction management. Accommodating bicyclists, equestrians and pedestrians alike, this multi-use path will provide a much-needed link from Tam Valley to the Mill Valley-Sausalito Path/Route 5, including connections to Marin Avenue, Tam Valley Community Center, and Tam Junction.

The project will provide a Class I multiuse pathway along Coyote Creek from the Mill Valley/Sausalito path to a signalized crossing of Shoreline Highway at Tennessee Valley Road. A portion of the improved path will be a raised boardwalk to ensure the path is not submerged during high tides, as portions of the current path are. A portion of this path segment (between the TCSD cabin and Marin Avenue) will be the cantilevered boardwalk. A new bicycle/pedestrian bridge is being constructed on the west side of Shoreline Highway over Coyote Creek to connect the path to Tam Junction. One of the current tasks occurs upstream of Highway 1 toward Marin Avenue. Work should begin at this location this month. Materials such as specially-treated wood for a boardwalk are now on order, and the pedestrian bridge is being fabricated. By end of February of 2012, construction-gazers may be able to see first signs of progress!

Accessibility and improved safety are the primary reasons this project is vital for non-motorized transportation into and around Tam Valley. The existing path is not accessible for those with mobility impairments, and portions of the downstream path are underwater at high tide. Currently, there’s no safe way to get across Highway 1, especially near the Dipsea Café.

The Manzanita – or Phase 2 – segment of the project is still in the planning stage. A new spur path near the Frantoio Restaurant is planned during this second phase to connect the path with Shoreline Highway near the Manzanita Park and Ride lot. Design on Phase 2 of the project has been suspended pending outcome of negotiations with Caltrans for right-of-way. The Manzanita connector path will provide a safe connection for pedestrians and cyclists to the Manzanita Park and Ride lot.

Tennzanita at Shoreline, Mill Valley

We appreciate your patience while the existing path is periodically closed during construction! WalkBikeMarin’s partner in myriad countywide projects, County Parks is involved as staff will maintain the path once completed. For additional information, download the Project Fact Sheet, or contact Pat Echols, DPW Senior Civil Engineer 415 473 7026 or

Biketoberfest Success

Come rain or come shine, the threat of bad weather on Sunday, September 25, 2011 was not enough to prevent the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) and Access for Bikes’ (A4B) Biketoberfest from being a success.

Pictured left to right: Melanie, Mauricio, and JeriLynne, Biketoberfest Volunteers

WalkBikeMarin (WBM) was proud to have been part of the downtown Fairfax fest. Stocked with free family-friendly bicycle stickers, invaluable tire patch kits and detailed banners highlighting the County of Marin’s award-winning Cal Park Hill Tunnel project, WBM welcomed the 5,000 Biketoberfest-goers.

WalkBikeMarin (WBM) was proud to have been part of the downtown Fairfax fest. Stocked with free family-friendly bicycle stickers, invaluable tire patch kits and detailed banners highlighting the County of Marin’s award-winning Cal Park Hill Tunnel project, WBM welcomed the 5,000 Biketoberfest-goers.

Fest-goers were able to gather our giveaways and learn about developments along the North-South Greenway, or Route 5, and about Novato’s just-completed Commuter Connection Project: a $2.1 million Class 1 Bicycle/Pedestrian pathway, from Redwood Boulevard to Enfrente Road at Inn Marin, along the south side of South Novato Boulevard on-ramp and southbound US Highway 101.

County staff was among the 225 volunteers who made the event a success. A record 651 bicycles were ridden to and parked at the festival, and $18,000 in donations and ticket sales was raised for MCBC and A4B.

Thank you for visiting us at Biketoberfest 2011. We look forward to seeing you in 2012! Visit for additional details.

Annual Counts Show Continuing Increases in Walking and Bicycling

Sausalito Bicyclist

WalkBikeMarin recently completed its fourth annual count to find out how many people are walking and biking in Marin County, as part of the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP). This effort collected data at 23 locations in the cities, towns, and unincorporated areas of the County.

The results of these counts show that weekday bicycling rates increased an average of 57 percent between 2007 and 2011 and 172 percent since 1999. During weekends, bicycling increased an average of 91 percent between since 2007 and 159 percent between 1999 and 2011. Weekday walking rates increased 33 percent between 2007 and 2011 while weekend walking rates increased 39 percent between 2007 and 2011.

Areas where recent projects have been completed are seeing significant increases in usage. One location, the top of Puerto Suello hill, has seen a 359% increase in weekday cyclists. Weekday usage is more indicative of users going to work, school, or other utilitarian trips as opposed to recreation and therefore suggests that more people are cycling for everyday trips, and perhaps driving less. Previously, one would have to navigate busy Lincoln Avenue and narrow Ranchitos Road. Completion of the Puerto Suello Hill pathway next to Highway 101 and widening Ranchitos Road to provide bike lanes has significantly improved safety in this corridor which is part of the North-South Bikeway and a key link between downtown San Rafael and Terra Linda.

Bicycling & Walking to Pleasant Valley School

A summary report comparing the outcomes of the Fall, 2011 counts with those conducted in 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007, and a previous count in 1999 is now available on
the Walk Bike Marin webpage.

This data will continue to be useful as the remaining NTPP and other projects are completed and show the impact of the Pilot Project and other improvements to walking and bicycling facilities. The Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program is a federal transportation program which has provided over $25 million each to Marin County and three other communities in the Midwest to evaluate whether construction of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, along with educational and outreach programs, can encourage bicycling and walking as a means to reduce automobile trips.

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