This short half-mile stretch of Bridgeway, the only route for people riding bikes between the Golden Gate Bridge and the rest of Marin, has long been seen as an area in need of improvements. With help from the Sausalito Pedestrian/Bicycle Advisory Committee and MCBC, Sausalito successfully applied for a grant from the Bay Trail to plan bike lanes here, bringing the segment up to minimum Bay Trail standards (which require either a separate trail or a sidewalk plus bike lanes to be considered “complete”).
This plan came to the city council for a vote back in April of this year, but the contract with a local consulting firm was sent back for revisions. With those revisions complete, the plan returned to council. While this should have been an easy choice (voting to initiate a plan using grant funding, requiring nothing from the City) there was opposition from some community members who were skeptical of any changes to the street. Happily, MCBC’s supporters came out in force, with over 100 letters written to the council urging them to move forward with the plan, along with notes from a number of local businesses, several former mayors, and County Supervisor Stephanie Moulton-Peters.
THE NEXT STEPS
It is important to note that this plan does not mean that Sausalito has committed to a design, or even to build bike lanes at all. What this plan will do is develop several alternatives for how bike lanes could be provided and safety improved, while also considering the following:
Emergency vehicle access
Deliveries to local businesses
Local car traffic
The plan will be a roughly six-month process. There will be plenty of opportunities for the public to get involved. MCBC will provide regular updates on the progress, and notify people about any public meetings.
WILL THIS EVER GET BUILT?
Even after the plan is complete, it’s by no means certain that the city council will vote to move forward with construction of the best alternative. It will be crucial for us to show a great deal of public support.
Happily, the city has already won a $500k grant to implement this project if they move forward. So if the city council decides to build bike lanes, they will have a lot of help to repave the road and implement other pedestrian improvements. We will need to make this clear to the council, as well as to some business owners who are understandably cautious of change.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you want to stay in the loop on this project and other matters in Sausalito, sign up for our Sausalito Google Group (select “Join Group” after clicking the link).
We’ll be setting up an in-person, Sausalito meet-and-greet in the next couple of months, to ensure that we have an organized group of advocates to help usher this project through the planning phase. We have our supporters to thank for helping us get this far, and it’s going to take more work from folks in Sausalito and outside of it to get this project across the finish line.
Warren Wells is Policy and Planning Director for the MCBC. Head over to their page to sign up for action alerts for Bridgeway.