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Map: Proposed Safe Bike Route to Fairfax Schools

Check out our map of the Fairfax Bike Spine Project's planned route that kids can take on their way to school. Is it the safest option?

 

 

Efforts are underway to create a marked bike route that zigzags through Fairfax neighborhoods and ends at Ross Valley School District schools.

We created a rough outline of the proposed route in the map above. Note that the route also includes Arroyo Road, depending on which way the cyclists are going.

At its Aug. 1 meeting, the Fairfax council members spoke in strong support of the Fairfax Bike Spine Project.

Councilman Larry Bragman and Vice Mayor John Reed are on the committee have has meeting to determine the route and what upgrades are needed, such as adding a stop sign or a new crosswalk, for the Transportation Authority of Marin Measure “A” funded project.

This month officials plan to get feedback from parents during back-to-school events and hold neighborhood meetings where there will be traffic control or parking changes. According to a Fairfax town staff report, the project proposes removing one parking space.

The Bike Spine Project could be complete as early as October, officials said.

 

BRIGHT GREEN PAVEMENT MARKINGS 

Reed told his colleagues Aug. 1 the project, which will include green pavement markings for shared lanes, bicycle lanes and arrows, directs children on a safe route to school while letting motorists and others in the area know there are children cycling in the area.

Bragman said the road markings are “very bright” and are designed to get the attention of motorists.

The town is getting caught up with the more innovative public work designs for bicycle-related markings, Bragman said, and will “make it safer for the kids and encourage them to be biking and walking to school.”

The bike route begins on Bolinas Road near Cascade Drive and continues down Bolinas Road until it turns on Park Road, then takes either Sequoia Road or Arroyo Road to Scenic Road, then continues on Manor Road to Sir Francis Drake Blvd, where it will branch out for the three different schools – Manor Elementary, Cascade Canyon School and White Hill Middle School.

“This is the route we figured out is the safest,” Reed said.

Fairfax Mayor Pam Hartwell-Herrero said the project has been in the making for many years. 

 

What do you think? Do you worry about children riding bikes in Fairfax? Will this help? 

 

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John Ferguson August 09, 2012 at 06:09 PM
I applaud the town council for trying to make cycling for school aged children safer. I'm not sure what's in the plan for roadway improvements, but my experience with riding to Perry park with my kids has shown me that Park road is in desperate need of road surface repairs and I hope to see significant changes before this is designated as part of any SRTS bike spine. Park is severely crowned between Spruce road and School street. The pavement near the sidewalk is chopped up and pretty dangerous for young riders and it's really narrow in that section because street parking is allowed. If the street can't be improved and widened before the official designation, I'd suggest that parking between Spruce and School be disallowed for safety. If you have a high volume of bicyclists through there without significant improvement it's going to cause problems.
John Ferguson August 09, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I also foresee problems at the crossing of SFD at Marin. During school commute hours there is a crossing guard who helps people get across the river of cars that drive down SFD and I have seen many occasions where people don't stop when they should. Frequently, there is an FPD cruiser to enforce the right of pedestrians and young cyclists to cross there. Let's formalize the arrangement and put a user activated traffic light there so there's a firm stop for people when pedestrians and bikes want to cross.
Jon Marchant August 09, 2012 at 07:51 PM
I think this a great idea, but I wonder why the route doesn't continue on Olema to the bus stop at the Sir Francis Drake Blvd. intersection. It seems to me that keeping the bikes off SFD can't help but be safer.
Joseph Odom August 09, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Glad to see the Town taking this action to help make biking to school safer. Please consider signage for Center Blvd. I know we can't legally keep bikes off that dangerous busy narrow road. A sign reading "not recommended for bikes" is legal. It might help.
John Ferguson August 09, 2012 at 08:44 PM
That would work for kids going to White Hill, but not for those going to Manor. I think they're looking for one route for all kids.
John Ferguson August 09, 2012 at 08:46 PM
I've never seen kids riding on Center. Sometimes the hammerheads ride Center, but I wouldn't imagine kids would ride up there. Keeping the fast road bikers on Center and away from Cindy Ross down on Lansdale is probably the safest compromise..
valeri hood August 09, 2012 at 08:55 PM
I would like to see more enforcement of traffic speed along the Sir Francis Drake Blvd. corridor- it is very dangerous for bicyclists when motorists speed through town, and that occurs on a daily basis. Around the time that high school lets out, we experience terrible speeding on Dominga Ave- kids taking the curve where Dominga turns into Napa at high speeds. We are still seeing people blowing through the stop signs on Dominga, at Bolinas and Frustuck, at Park and Bolinas, right across from the police station. It is hard to get out of Sherman onto Bolinas during times of heavy traffic because of people blowing through that stop sign.
John Ferguson August 10, 2012 at 09:14 PM
To educate myself, I rode the proposed route home from work last night. The one aspect that struck me as potentially difficult for younger riders is that street parking on Park and Sequoia pushes westbound cyclists firmly into the traffic lane - there is no shoulder because of parked cars and because of the width of those streets in many cases you really have to ride right down the center of the street to be safe from possibly opening car doors (I like to give myself 3 feet, I'd like the same for my children). Without some sort of plan on street parking, I could not recommend that kids use those streets for cycling. I'd rather see them on Bank and Broadway because of the width and general lack of parking spots along that way.
Ralph August 13, 2012 at 07:29 PM
agreed. common sense getting to WHMS applies.
John Reed August 14, 2012 at 05:14 AM
A group of us has been working to come up with a design that both guides and keeps kids as safe as possible, and alerts motorists to the presence of the kids. There is of course a balance to be struck between all of the users of the roadway, and of course to do it in a way that is affordable. Right now is the chance for everyone to see the plan, and make comments, so that adjustments can be made before it's actually built. I encourage everyone interested to attend our next Town Council meeting, on September 5th, when a detailed presentation will be made. We will soon also have a more detailed description of the Bike Spine on the Town Website. When it is up, I will put a link here on this thread! See you on the 5th!
C Ross August 14, 2012 at 03:45 PM
John F: Yup, Uh-Huh, Everything is my fault, even when the Emperor really does have no clothes. Designating a bike route with shiny green signs does nothing to improve the safety of our roads. They were not designed to accommodate so much traffic, and certainly not motorists, cyclists and pedestrians all competing for the same limited road space. Bank and Broadway is probably one of the most dangerous spots, especially for younger cyclists, with poor visibility, and no crosswalk. (I don't live there, BTW). Center is a BAD idea for cyclists, not because of me, but because it's not wide enough, with no shoulder, making it impossible for anyone to "share" the road safely (especially with the arrogant "entitled" attitude of far too many). In fact, there is no "really" safe way for children to bike to school in Fairfax, from many of our neighborhoods, especially when our elementary and middle schools are both off our busiest main thoroughfare, where kids have to compete with commuters trying to get to work (No, not all Fairfaxians work at Good Earth or Java Hut.) BTW, My own son was hit on a bike, by a Safe Routes to School Bike Safety Instructor, so I'm not convinced that artificial designations do anything except give the *illusion* of appeasing CittaSlow mandates. (If Fairfax really wants "safe routes", they should follow the model of cities like Stockholm. But that does mean actually addressing infrastructure (and spending $$), not vacuous resolutions and making pretty signs.
John Ferguson August 14, 2012 at 09:04 PM
You can take the Martyr mask off, Cindy - I just suggested that those 'fast and fearless' cyclists who wish to traverse our fair burg at 20+ take Center at least to San Anselmo and not ride down on Lansdale where as you have so helpfully pointed out there are stop signs and kids on bikes and dogs and teenagers smooching and wandering jugglers and flute players and that's just what I observed coming home last night.. There's no really safe way for us to live our lives except for bubble boy and we don't want to be him. It's all about working within our limits and making things a little safer than they are now and hoping nobody gets hurt or sued or both.
John Reed August 19, 2012 at 05:34 AM
Here is a link to a fact sheet showing more details of the "Bike Spine Project". http://town-of-fairfax.org/pdfs/Fairfax%20Bike%20Spine%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf There will also be a public presentation at the September 5th Fairfax Council Meeting, and that meeting is a great place for comments from the public .

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