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Fairfax Officials: ‘Town’ Flyer Circulating is Erroneous

A leaflet that mysteriously appeared in Fairfax mailboxes Wednesday morning is misleading and wasn’t produced by the town, Fairfax officials said.

 

A flyer left in several Fairfax mailboxes announcing the rerouting of Bolinas Road is misleading and erroneous, a Fairfax town official said Wednesday afternoon. 

The flyer, which is photographed at the right, focuses on the Fairfax general plan and incorrectly says town officials have “started implementing plans” to build a town center pedestrian mall on the first two blocks of Bolinas Road, which will involve permanently rerouting traffic from Bolinas Road to Elsie and Broadway.

“The town would purchase the contaminated gas station on Sir Francis Drake in order to connect Bank Street to Sir Francis Drake Blvd,” the flyer says. “Is this what the majority of Fairfax citizens want?”

The flyer doesn’t include any information about who produced or distributed it, but it does list contact information for Fairfax council members and Jim Moore, Fairfax’s director of planning and building services. With writing that resembles an election season hit piece, it encourages community members to look at the town's general plan and send feedback to council members.

Moore released a statement Wednesday afternoon explaining that the leaflet is spreading misinformation.   

“Please be advised that this is not a Town of Fairfax flyer and the permanent rerouting of Bolinas Road has not been approved, nor is it being implemented,” Moore said.

Moore said there has been discussion about exploring the idea of closing part of Bolinas Road down the road, but it’s far from happening. “ … we do look forward to a lively discussion in the future on this very topic,” he wrote. 

PDFs (attached at the right) from the Town of Fairfax 2010-2030 General Plan include details about the conceptual idea of closing the street. 

The general plan says “Bolinas Road could eventually become a pedestrian-only area from Broadway to Elsie Lane. Traffic would be routed along the approximate route of present Bank Street to Elsie Lane. This idea would actually result in more parking through a re-engineering of the Pavilion lot, and would immediately make the Pavilion more central to the flow of traffic through the town.”

The general plan also includes information about the steps the town would have to take to even pursue the concept:

“Such a change would be accomplished in stages, starting intermittently with community events such as farmers markets and festivals … Temporary road closure for both lanes or one lane could be used to test the pedestrian concept.”

Last year, the Fairfax Town Council unanimously approved the temporary closure of Bolinas Road on a Sunday afternoon in August for the Streets for People half-day event. 

While many were concerned Streets for People would cause a traffic headache, there were no traffic issues, Fairfax Police Chief Chris Morin told Patch last year, and the event appeared a success after it drew hundreds of people downtown.  

Local officials have acknowledged that closing Bolinas Road between Broadway and Elsie Lane is a contentious idea, but they have said closing the road would be an experiment to see if the town could realistically move toward the general plan vision of making that stretch of road a permanent vehicle-free greenway.

Streets for People organizers had been gathering feedback from local community members to determine if another event would be held this year. 

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Gayle R January 27, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Thank you, John. Your posts are very helpful and I am sure I'm not alone in appreciating your laying out the evolution of this particular proposal. I shall be in touch on Monday ... offline... about the potholes!
tony masi January 28, 2013 at 07:21 PM
For a pedestrian downtown mall to be advantageous, I think it would need either regular crowd-drawing weekend activities, some kind of popular anchor business, or plenty of outdoor seating for restaurants, cafes, and bars. We have wonderful businesses downtown, but I fear that unless there is some additional attraction on that section of Bolinas Road besides the freedom of an auto-free street, the re-directed traffic could create a possible "out of sight, out of mind" phenomenon for drive-by residents and visitors that don't regularly walk or bike downtown.
Rowan Fennell January 29, 2013 at 06:43 PM
It's really good to have these conversations. As somebody who grew up here, moved away for 25 years and then returned and remodeled my childhood home so that I could instill some of the same sense of community I had as a child, with my children, I feel responsible to weigh in on this. I have actually thought about changes to downtown long before ever seeing the flyer or knowing about the general plan, but now I feel compelled to illustrate my thoughts. I have emailed the town and the mayor and I look forward to further discussion. I live on Merwin ave, and walk to town and drive through town regularly. I also have two young daughters and the downtown traffic pattern is mesmerizing, dangerous, and Ill conceived, particularly the claus-broadway intersection. I would propose removal of this intersection, and the conversion of broadway, from bolinas to bank, into a town plaza. This would provide space for safe enjoyment to gather, eat ice cream, coffee, chess, bike racks, a fountain or sculpture, and provide a true town center. I support the creation of an intersection at the defunct gas station and using it to provide additional traffic thoroughfare from cascade canyon, but I think it should supplement, not replace, the traffic on bolinas.
John Ferguson January 30, 2013 at 01:51 AM
I think it all depends on how much change people can handle and identifying funding sources to make it happen. It all starts with planning and model building so people can see how the space will change and how traffic will be affected. That will cost a little money - better to spend the little rather than a lot without reasonably full community support.
John Ferguson January 30, 2013 at 01:51 AM
I think it all depends on how much change people can handle and identifying funding sources to make it happen. It all starts with planning and model building so people can see how the space will change and how traffic will be affected. That will cost a little money - better to spend the little rather than a lot without reasonably full community support.

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