Multi-use pathway moves forward
By Jessica MullinsThe Sausalito City Council pushed for a resident public workshop after receiving a progress report on multi-use pathway plans.
Soon officials will be creating the first draft of a plan detailing how a multi-use pathway could make its way north through Sausalito, extending from downtown to Gate 6 Road.
A multi-use path is an off-road hard-surfaced path separated from car traffic by an open space or barrier, which has been designated for public use for human-powered travel or movement — mainly, pedestrians and cyclists. There are different pathway options that separate cyclists from pedestrians and provide different widths for each right of way. How wide the path would be, and its configuration, haven’t been decided yet.
The City Council’s update last week on the status of the project was meant to also serve as a public workshop, but the council said it wanted something with more resident involvement. There were about a dozen people in the council chambers attending the discussion at the June 29 meeting.
While the idea of creating some kind of path through northern Sausalito has been around for decades, a federal grant for the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program supplied the impetus needed to begin planning.
A $25 million grant was first awarded to Marin County in 2006 for the pilot program. After six months of review, the Marin Board of Supervisors awarded Sausalito $100,000 to develop a plan for a multi-use path between the ferry landing and Gate 6 Road.
The Sausalito City Council awarded a contract to Alta Planning in March 2009, stressing that Alta should focus on routes along Bridgeway instead of shoreline routes going through the Marinship.
Last week, planning officials pointed out problematic areas they have been studying, and changes that may be necessary, such as decreasing the size of Parking Lot 4 (to which the council had a cool reaction).
The council had approved a stakeholder advisory committee, with appointed members including Sausalito residents and a representative from the Marin County Bicycle Coalition. City Engineer Todd Teachout said some of the committee’s members have not been attending the regular meetings.
Council member Carolyn Ford asked what the city could do to control those who travel too fast on pathways. The council could adopt laws, such as a speed limit for bikes.
During discussion, council member Herb Weiner said it’s essential to continue the pathway effort because “we’re going to see more and more bikes and pedestrians.”
Mayor Jonathon Leone said Sausalito obviously needs a pathway because “there’s no safe place to ride.” He said he has to take his children to Tiburon to teach them how to ride their bikes.
Local architect Michael Rex spoke in support of the project and asked the council to consider scheduling a public workshop.
Resident Pat Zuch said she was concerned about the fate of many old trees on Bridgeway, but that she wasn’t opposed to creating a pathway.
David Hoffman, MCBC director of planning, said what’s been accomplished so far shows what could be done in Sausalito despite many constraints and limitations.
Resident Bob Mitchell, who attended all the advisory meetings, said he felt the advisory committee had been “overtaken” by bicycle advocates, and felt he hadn’t been shown all the data.
Resident Bonnie MacGregor, who was one of the Sausalito residents appointed to the stakeholder advisory committee, said the plans had all been discussed in great detail at the committee’s meetings. “I have seen almost every diagram presented tonight. I don’t know whether Mr. Mitchell was so busy interrupting the meetings he didn’t see it.”
Contact Jessica Mullins at email@example.com.