MARIN COUNTY BICYCLE COALITION (MCBC)
July 23, 2009
"If we want to reduce transportation carbon emissions, we need to reduce the amount of driving we do."
--Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, on his blog
1. Bicyclists allowed left turn onto Shady Lane
2. San Anselmo gets 55 new bike racks
3. MCBC Group Ride to the top of Mt. Tam was a blast
4. Five weekend closures around the Golden Gate Bridge, July 31 through Oct 26
5. Green Routes to Work legislation addresses limitations on commuter bike provision
6. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood calls for Americans to drive less
7. Video: Carmaggeddon averted as Broadway comes to life
The Towns of Ross and San Anselmo have historically prohibited left turns from Bolinas Avenue onto Shady Lane during peak commute times to avoid cut-through traffic attempting to avoid Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Until recently this included bicyclists, even though Shady Lane is part of Marin County's Bicycle Route 20. Periodically, cyclists were stopped by the police and given warnings or citations for making the left turn between 7:00 and 9:00 AM.
The MCBC worked with both the Public Works and Police Departments in Ross and San Anselmo to exempt bicyclists from this turn restriction, as the only other route towards Ross, Larkspur, and Greenbrae is congested Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. This road is not always the safest route for bicyclists, especially during peak commute hours. Bicyclists may now legally turn left on to Shady Lane from Bolinas Avenue at any time! New signs have been installed. MCBC thanks the Towns of Ross and San Anselmo for working with us; on behalf of all bicyclists which use this route, we thank you.
Last week, the Town of San Anselmo finished installing 55 new bike racks on Greenfield Avenue, San Anselmo Avenue, and at the Butterfield Park 'n Ride lot. The locations were determined by the Town and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) over a number of months. Early reports are that they are already being used - some locations such as the three racks in front of Elan on Greenfield are regularly at capacity. There are also three new racks in the Pine Street parking lot just off of San Anselmo Avenue (by the Bank of America and Wells Fargo). In total, there are 108 more bike parking locations; most racks hold a bike on each side.
These bike racks were made possible through a grant to the County of Marin from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). Your business or organization can get free bike racks through this program. Click here for details. MCBC thanks the Town of San Anselmo and the BPAC for all of their work to get these new racks installed.
Last Saturday, MCBC hosted a group ride up Mt. Tam to see the recently installed Gravity Car. We are happy to report that eighteen cyclists joined the ride and everyone made it up and down safely. The Gravity Car was a hit: you can sit right inside the car and ring the bell! During the evening the Gravity Car is housed in a rail barn, which doubles as a museum during the day. The barn has great photos and a video about the railroad that used to take tourists up to the top of Mt. Tam.
Back in its heyday, the Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods Railway was considered “the crookedest railroad in the world”; it ran from 1896 to 1930. Trains would leave downtown Mill Valley pushing passenger cars up the mountain (so the engine’s smoke wouldn’t detract from the beautiful scenery) while towing a batch of Gravity Cars. After a little stay at the Tavern of Tamalpais at the top of the mountain, people would board a Gravity Car and coast down to Muir Woods or back down to Mill Valley. The 8.2 mile trip took about 45 minutes. Click here for more photos.
We thank Mt. Tam State Park, the Marin Municipal Water District and our gracious host at the Gravity Car Barn, Arlene Halligan from the Mount Tamalpais Interpretative Association, for making this ride destination so much fun.
Coming August 22: The Tour of the Tunnels. See the best bicycle routes in Central Marin, while visiting the portals of the Cal Park Hill and Alto Tunnels. Details coming soon on our Group Rides web page.
Between July 31 and October 26, the south side Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza and Visitor areas will experience FIVE WEEKEND CLOSURES to accommodate construction improvements in the area. Improvement includes:
- Repaving the tourist parking lot located on the southeast side of the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Repaving and adding lighting to the Bridge employee parking lot on the southwest side of the Bridge.
- Modifying the utilities and improving the drainage in the tunnel under the Toll Plaza.
- Repaving the roadway in the tunnel under the Toll Plaza.
- Improvements for persons with disabilities in several areas.
Impacts on bicycling during the closures will vary widely; at times bikes will need to be walked through the tunnel underpass, or will be diverted on detours. There will be additional impacts to drivers and to public transportation. For the complete details, visit this page on the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District website.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is set to introduce legislation that will implement a series of tax incentives for individuals and employers to make it easier for commuters who wish to commute to work by bicycling, walking, carpooling or using public transit. The legislation titled Green Routes to Work will also make changes to the bicycle commuter provision passed last year by allowing employees to receive both transit and bike benefits in the same month. The Green Routes to Work legislation will also revise the bike commuter benefit language to allow employees to elect to reduce their salary by the value of the Qualified Bike Provision.
Click here to see provisions of the bill.
Source: League of American Bicyclists
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's writes in a recent blog entry titled "Smart Community Planning, More Transportation Options Lead to Reduced Carbon Emissions" that, "If we want to reduce transportation carbon emissions, we need to reduce the amount of driving we do." Additionally, he calls for communities to have additional transportation choices, such as light rail, fuel-efficient buses, and paths for pedestrians and bicycles that intersect with transit centers.
Click here to read more.
Source: League of American Bicyclists
MESSAGES FROM OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
When New York City opened up new pedestrian zones in the heart of Midtown this summer, naysayers predicted a traffic nightmare. Nearly two months later, we're still waiting for the much-feared Carmaggedon.
In this video, Streetfilms funder Mark Gorton takes us on a tour of Broadway's car-free squares and boulevard-style blocks, where conditions have improved dramatically for pedestrians, cyclists, and, yes, delivery truck drivers. As Mark says, the counterintuitive truth is that taking away space for cars can improve traffic while making the city safer and more enjoyable for everyone on foot. There are sound theories that help explain why this happens -- concepts like traffic shrinkage and Braess's paradox which are getting more and more attention thanks to projects like this one. While traffic statistics are still being collected by NYCDOT, there's already a convincing argument that Midtown streets are functioning better than before: To understand it, just take a walk down Broadway.
Click here to see the video.
Marin County Bicycle Coalition
P.O. Box 1115
Fairfax, CA 94978
Office Location: 733 Center Blvd., Fairfax, CA 94930
(415) 456-3469 – phone
(415) 456-9344 – fax
The MCBC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. You donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
We are a membership-supported group. If you are not already a paying member, please join today. Printable membership forms are on our website, http://www.marinbike.org.
Thank you for being a part of the solution.
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