Corte Madera engineers are developing a plan to create an important link in the cycling and pedestrian network on the east side of town.
A workshop to solicit public input on the Paradise Drive “Complete Streets” project is scheduled for Tuesday at 5:30 pm via Zoom. The comments will help the project team work out design alternatives for the next meeting, tentatively scheduled for spring, said Chris Good, a city civil engineer.
The project area is approximately 1,700 linear feet along Paradise Drive from Westward Drive to east of Robin Drive. It should include updated sidewalks, a shared use lane, cycle lanes or on-street cycling amenities, as well as flood control devices to protect against sea level rise.
“The city’s long-term goal is to provide multimodal access along the entire Paradise Drive corridor,” Good said.
The section of Paradise Drive has a vehicle lane in each direction and no provision for pedestrians or bicycles, Good said. The road is regularly flooded during severe thunderstorms.
Good says there are a lot of cyclists riding Paradise Drive and families accessing Marin Country Day and Marin Montessori schools that would benefit from bike lanes, sidewalks, or a combination of multimodal upgrades.
“It would be a step forward in improving access and safety for cyclists and pedestrians on Paradise Drive,” Good said.
However, there would still be a gap on Paradise Drive between Seawolf Passage and just east of Prince Royal Passage, he said. The city has already started to explore the possibility of filling this gap in a future project.
The city recently completed a million dollar sidewalk widening project to accommodate a new multi-use trail on Paradise Drive from San Clemente Drive to Seawolf Passage. The trail is integrated with the Bay Trails trail system.
About 10 years ago, another project built a Class 1 trail on the south side of Paradise, just east of Prince Royal Drive to Westward Drive, Good said.
In a first workshop earlier this month, community members supported the idea of a continuous path on the north side of Paradise Drive. This would force the city to build a new path and move the entire road south, Good said.
If this option ends up being the preferred design, it’s unclear what would happen with the path on the south side of Paradise Drive between Prince Royal Drive and Westward Drive.
David Macpherson, vice chair of the Bikes and Pedestrians Committee, said if the city has the right-of-way and can add a multi-use trail on the north side of Paradise Drive, that’s the preferred option.
Otherwise, he said, engineers would have to design a way for users to travel safely from the new wide sidewalk on the north side of Paradise Drive at Seawolf Passage to the start of the south side path at Prince Royal Drive. . He believes this alternative would require a wooden walkway over a drainage ditch.
Residents near Robin Drive “did indeed find themselves on an island that is not accessible to pedestrians and bicycles,” Macpherson said.
“It is a priority for the BPAC and the city council to remedy this lack of access,” he said.
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition supports the plan, said Warren Wells, the organization’s director of policy and planning.
The improvements will prevent students traveling between eastern Corte Madera and the two schools from riding or walking on the narrow shoulder of the road at high speed, he said.
“While several options are being considered, we believe that only a fully separate bike / pedestrian path will allow parents to feel comfortable letting their children go to school on their own,” Wells said. “A uniquely painted bike path might improve the experience for some, but we and our members are advocating for a facility for all ages and abilities on this segment of Paradise Drive.”
Engineers won’t do a project estimate until they have a clearer idea of the options available. The city received a grant of $ 244,000 to support the cost.
More information on bit.ly/3nMyGHE.