Marin County Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program
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- Link to the County of Marin’s www.walkbikemarin.org website
Alto Tunnel Study Funded as part of $8.8 Million Pilot Program Funding Allocation
On Tuesday, August 23, the Marin County Board of Supervisors voted to allocate $8.8 million for bicycle/pedestrian projects throughout Marin. The Marin County Bicycle Coalition fully endorsed the list of funded projects that were proposed by the County Department of Public
Works, which were unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors. The $8.8M in funds that were allocated are federal transportation bill extension funds related to the$25 million Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program, which MCBC's former Director Deb Hubsmith played a key role in bringing to Marin in 2005.
While MCBC is celebrating the allocation of all of these funds, we are particularly excited about the allocation of $600,000 of funds for studying the Alto Tunnel. Funds will be used toconduct a geotechnical study to more accurately assess the tunnel's condition, which will result in more accurate cost estimates for building the tunnel. In the June 2010 Mill Valley to Corte Madera Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridor Study, tunnel reconstruction estimates contained high contingencies that drove the tunnel estimates higher than they would otherwise be with up-to-date geotechnical information. This study will help resolve cost estimate issues.
Funds will also be used to conduct a property study, including establishing easement ownership for properties above the tunnel. This too will help increase the accuracy of cost estimates for rebuilding the Alto Tunnel and help resolve debates about tunnel easementownership.
(2005) County to receive $25 million to build a bicycle and pedestrian network
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition is very pleased to announce that Marin County is one of four communities throughout the United States that has been designated as a Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program in the federal surface transportation bill which was signed into law over the weekend.
Each of the four pilots will receive a total of $25 million over the next four years to build a bicycle and pedestrian network that will connect directly with transit stations, schools, residences, businesses, recreation areas, and other community activity centers. The other communities chosen for the pilot projects are Columbia, MO, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, and Sheboygan County, WI.
Deb Hubsmith, Advocacy Director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition says, "This is a dream come true! Our sincere thanks go out to Congressman Oberstar, Congresswoman Woolsey, and Senator Boxer for designating Marin County to lead the nation with this very important program. The pilot program will show how walking and bicycling can improve the environment, decrease traffic congestion, and benefit public health. We're very excited to make this pilot program a success - for Marin, and for the entire nation."
The legislation states that "the purpose of the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program is to demonstrate the extent to which bicycling and walking can carry a significant part of the transportation load." It requires Marin County to collect statistical data and measure changes in bicycle, pedestrian, transit and motor vehicle use, and to assess how such changes decrease traffic congestion and energy use.
Patrick Seidler, President of Transportation Alternatives for Marin says, "The tactic of using Pilot Programs to demonstrate the effectiveness of pedestrian and bicycle transportation has been used in numerous countries such as The Netherlands, Germany, Japan, and others. We are thrilled that Marin has been selected as one of the nation's Pilot Programs. Now the pressure is on us to make sure that Marin's Pilot Program is a success. We look forward to working with the County, the cities and the communities of Marin to "Make Marin the Model" by using international best practices for the development of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, policies and encouragement."
The total estimated cost for building Marin County's complete bicycle and pedestrian network is over $100 million. The plan calls for constructing a network of bike lanes, sidewalks, and pathways. A highlight of the plan is the creation of a North-South Greenway parallel to Highway 101 along the railroad right-of-way that will be separated from cars, and pass through tunnels and over trestles, providing a flat, safe and direct route to transit hubs, shopping centers, businesses, schools, and residences. Marin County will combine the $25 million from the federal government with Regional Measure 2 funds, Measure A monies, and through leveraging additional sources will build as much of the bicycle/pedestrian network as possible over the next five years.
Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey says, "The pilot program will allow Marin to continue our national leadership in building a healthy, safe bicycle and pedestrian program. I anticipate a very exciting process that involves working with the bike community and other transportation partners to achieve the mode shift that this program is intended for."