news Supporters Turn Out for Magnolia Avenue Bike Lanes

Community members and local bike advocates turned out in force and made a compelling case for the addition of bike lanes on a crucial one-block stretch of Magnolia Avenue at last week’s Larkspur City Council meeting.

An over-capacity crowd gathered Wednesday, September 7th for an informational presentation on the Bon Air Bridge Project and its associated environmental mitigation measures, one of which includes the reconfiguration of Magnolia Avenue between Skylark Drive and Bon Air Road. The City of Larkspur is considering capitalizing on the opportunity to add bike lanes to the one-block stretch, which is bounded on both sides by bike lanes. They have demonstrated the proposed configuration in the northbound direction for the past several months (pictured below, at right; existing southbound configuration, at left).

magnolia existing proposed

Julian Skinner, Larkspur’s Director of Public Works, presented an update on the project, detailing the project proposals (his presentation can be found here), which include the widening of the median, removal of one traffic lane in each direction, the addition of paint-buffered bicycle lanes, and removal of the dangerous right turn “slip lanes” at the Bon Air Road intersection.

Skinner addressed a number of misconceptions about the project, including those voiced by people who think that the removal of one travel lane in each direction would cause significant congestion. He pointed out that Magnolia Avenue is one lane in each direction on either side of the project area.

Project supporters—who were rallied by Larkspur resident Dwayne Price—made well-rounded arguments that addressed these misconceptions, along with the importance of safety for people biking along the corridor.

According to the California Highway Patrol’s collision database, three people were hit and injured while bicycling on the one-block stretch of Magnolia Avenue between 2010 and 2012 (the most recent year for which data is available). Among these was an 11-year old boy who was injured by a right-turning driver at the Bon Air Road intersection. Based on MCBC’s interpretation of the collision report, it is likely that his injuries could have been avoided with the proposed improvements in place.

The project will return to Larkspur’s City Council for a final decision in November or December, pending the results of an upcoming traffic study.

MCBC will provide updates as they become available and continue to support this project and the community members who back it.

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