Thursday, August 9, 2012

Safe Passage along Lucas Valley Road Ground Breaking Ceremony


Safe Passage Success!  Ground-breaking Scheduled!
Federal STP Grants Deliver a Safe Pedestrian Pathway on
Lucas Valley Road between Las Gallinas and Los Gamos

SAN RAFAEL, California (August 9, 2012) – Safe Passage Along Lucas Valley Road announces its ground-breaking celebration for the County of Marin sidewalk along the south side of Lucas Valley Road between Las Gallinas Avenue and Los Gamos Drive in San Rafael, California.  When complete, this pathway will allow community members to access bus service at Highway 101, the 101 Lucas Valley Road office building, and the popular Marin YMCA.  On September 4, 2012, the ground-breaking ceremony will take place at 2:00 p.m. at the intersection of Los Gamos and Lucas Valley Road. 

Over the past 45 months, Safe Passage has conducted quarterly “75 Minute Saturday Clean-Ups” to remove the vegetation that prevented pedestrians from using the shoulder of the road.  Volunteers were regularly joined by County Supervisor Susan Adams.

Safe Passage Along Lucas Valley Road is a nonprofit fiscally-sponsored project of MarinLink and therefore eligible for tax-deductible donations.  Mont Marin Homeowner Association initiated the project in 2006 and it became an official project of the North San Rafael Coalition of Residents in the fall of 2009.  Safe Passage co-directors Ray Lorber and Carolyn Lenert are also members of the steering committee of this Coalition of Residents (  which expedited this project.   

Lenert remarked, “This gateway to San Rafael was one of the very few arteries off Highway 101 that had no place for pedestrians or cyclists.  It was a missing link.”  Minimal safety lighting and bike lane/no parking signs have already been installed to improve traffic safety.   Lorber commented, “It has taken 7 years, but soon the pedestrians will have a better choice than walking on the road with 45 mph traffic or in the mud and dirt of the slanting shoulder.  When completed, the corridor will be safer."   Mark McMillan, who survived being hit by a speeding truck veering out of its lane in March of 2007 told the co-Directors, “I do truly hope that the powers that be can come to a conclusion that will increase the safety for pedestrians and bicyclists alike…It will be better for wildlife, our pets, children, recreational and commuting neighbors.”  Finally, something wonderful has come from Mark’s horrific accident and his hope is realized.
In 2010, Safe Passage along Lucas Valley Road announced their first Mark MacMillan Public Safety Award to volunteer, John Rojas, a past leader of the NSRCR.  Rojas exclaimed, “The Stepping Up/Stepping Out Campaign is a great success!”  The 2011 winner Preston McCoy (of San Rafael’s Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee) told the gathering, “This means concrete progress on the City’s plan for non-motorized transport!  And in 2012, the winner David Crowne said, “I had no idea when we started that together we could make a difference so quickly!" 
Safe Passage is also grateful for the support of hundreds of community members which we call Lucas Valley Road Lovers or LoVeRs, for short.  We give special recognition to Nader Mansourian, Traffic Engineer, San Rafael Public works department who was the first official to step up and release a lettter that stated "I would like to emphasize that we support the sidewalk installation:... This is a good project for future grants.  The City of San Rafael supports the project,....  A partial list of contributors includes the Supervisors and staff of the County of Marin, the elected officials and staff of the City of San Rafael, State of California CalTrans, multiple organizations and local businesses, including Wachovia Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, FastSigns, Kiki LaPorta of DesCom Studios, Craig Scheidt of 101 Lucas Valley Road office building, Kel Harris of Safe Routes to Schools, Tom Forster of LucasFilm Ltd., artist John Libberton, Marin YMCA leadership and staff,  Rachel Kamman of Kamman Hydrology & Engineering, Inc., Patrick Seidler and Transportation Alternatives of Marin, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, David Hoffman and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, Preston McCoy and the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Aref Ahmadia of West End Café, Ahmad Fillabi of Smith Ranch Deli and the Automobile Club of Northern California.
Media contact:  Carolyn Lenert 415.499.9234 -
Safe Passage Along Lucas Valley Road
c/o Five Upper Oak Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903
Telephone:  415.499.9234 – Fax:  415.499.9234