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WBMLogo Walk Bike Marin News

Spring 2009 Volume 2 Issue 2
In this Issue:

- Los Ranchitos Bike Lanes
- Prado Connector Project Update
- Cal Park Tunnel Pathway Update
- Community Weighs In on Projects and Plans

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

Construction Begins on Los Ranchitos Bike Lanes

Los Ranchito future bike lane
Construction to widen the narrow roadway on Ranchitos Road for bicyclists and pedestrians will begin soon.
On April 14th, 2009, the Board of Supervisors approved the contract for the construction of new bike lanes on Ranchitos Road between North San Pedro Road and the Puerto Suello summit. The estimated $1.2 million project includes retaining wall construction to widen the roadway and to accommodate new bike lanes on the steep, winding road along with a sidewalk from North San Pedro Road to the church and apartment properties.

Currently bicyclists must "take the lane" on Ranchitos Road as they ride uphill without a dedicated bike lane. The shared lane and no safe passing conditions often results in vehicle congestion due to bicyclists moving at slower speeds. New bike lanes in each direction will help relieve this congestion. Construction should be complete in fall 2009.

Progress on Alameda del Prado Connector Project

Alameda del Prado connector
New bike lanes will prevent tight squeezes like this from occurring on Alameda del Prado once work is complete this fall.
Utility work is underway on Alameda del Prado and construction of the bike lanes will start in July or August. This project will fill a key gap in this key north/south bikeway between Ignacio Boulevard to just north of Posada del Sol. Presently the road widens and shrinks on this shared roadway, creating places where motorists pass bicyclists in difficult situations. After utility lines are relocated underground and street lights are installed, construction will begin to make the roadway a consistent width with five foot bike lanes in each direction and without removing any parking. The project is expected to finish this fall and will result in continuous bicycle facilities, excluding a short section of Miller Creek Road, between Indian Valley College and Inn of Marin to the north and Las Colindas Road to the south, a distance of over 6.5 miles.

Cal Park Tunnel Pathway Construction Will Finish First Stage in July

Cal Park Tunnel under construction
Soon all 280 structural steel support sets will line the rehabilitated Cal Park Tunnel.
Since beginning last October, rehabilitation work has progressed significantly on the Cal Park Tunnel. So far from the San Rafael side, more than 200 feet of the tunnel has been cleared and reinforced with structural steel to make way for the bicycle and pedestrian path and SMART rail.

Completion of the project's first structural phase is expected to be complete in July when the second and final phase of the project will begin. The second phase of the project will include construction of the 11.5 foot bicycle and pedestrian pathway and the SMART rail service tracks. The installation of safety features including a protective barrier between the pathway and the rail tracks, call boxes, and security cameras will also occur during this second phase. The improved tunnel completion is set for December 2009.

Outside the tunnel, the project includes construction of new approach pathways on the north and south sides. On the north, the path will begin on Andersen Drive near West Francisco Boulevard, using a new bridge to cross Auburn Street before entering the tunnel. On the south side, the path will initially connect to Larkspur Landing Circle and will eventually travel along the railroad corridor to connect directly with East Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and ultimately over Corte Madera Creek to connect with the Sandra Marker Trail at Wornum Drive.

Community Weighs In on WalkBikeMarin Projects and Plans

WalkBikeMarin corridor study
Marin County community members analyzed the advantages of three different north-south bike routes that could be improved between Mill Valley and Corta Madera.
In recent months at public meetings, local community members in Marin County provided their input on several WalkBikeMarin projects. They have also gained new perspectives on preferred routes and designs.

On March 4th at Edna Maguire Elementary School in Mill Valley, there was a public workshop for the Mill Valley to Corte Madera Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridor Study. Community members met to discuss the benefits for providing improved facilities along the Camino Alto or Horse Hill routes or reopening the Alto Tunnel. After a presentation that included a photographic tour of the three alternatives, participants divided into three breakout groups to discuss each route's potential for encouraging more people to ride bicycles. At the end of the session, the three groups came back together and shared key findings and factors the project team should consider as they complete the study. A summary of input provided at the meeting is available here.

On March 3rd at San Anselmo Town Hall Council Chambers there was a public meeting for the Fairfax-San Rafael Bicycle Connector Feasibility Study. The 50 participants first listened to a presentation given by Alta Planning+Design, the project's consultant. The presentation detailed the project area's history, goals and the existing conditions. Community members then spent 45 minutes writing their ideas and concerns about the corridor on project area maps. All attendees seemed satisfied with the meeting and at the conclusion, applauded the effort with a standing ovation.

A joint public meeting on five WalkBikeMarin projects in San Rafael was held on January 26th at the San Rafael City Council Chambers. Nearly 60 people came to provide suggestions on projects including the Puerto Suello and Mahon Creek to Transit Center Connector projects, which will provide improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities from existing pathways to the San Rafael Transit Center and Downtown San Rafael and which are part of the North-South Greenway. Other projects discussed at the meeting included Northgate Gap Closure Improvements, Terra Linda North San Rafael Improvements, and Francisco Boulevard East Improvements.

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