Bolinas Road Closure, Streets For People Set for Sunday

Free "back to school" haircuts for kids, yoga, bike tune-ups, and community artwork are some of activities planned for the Streets for People event, which is from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday in downtown Fairfax.


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This Sunday, Aug. 26, is a great day to ditch your car.

Bolinas Road in downtown Fairfax will be closed from noon to 4 p.m. for the family-friendly , which will celebrate local businesses, citizens, art and non-motorized transportation.

Earlier this summer the , somewhat modeled off San Francisco’s “Sunday Streets.” The Fairfax council .  

While booze won’t be available for sale (unless you want to duck into one of the bars), “Streets for People” will include:

  • Café tables in the street
  • Roco dance will lead a Zumba Class in the street at 1 p.m.
  • Sienna at Yoga Mountain will lead a community yoga class at 3 p.m. in the street at Bolinas and Elsie Lane
  • Street painting and portraits
  • Information on local businesses
  • A parklet demo
  • Bike demos
  • Free bike tune-ups
  • Acoustic musicians
  • Free “back to school” haircuts for kids
  • Youth music showcase
  • Creative re-use market
  • Kids zone
  • Tween art

The event will close Bolinas Road between Broadway and Elsie, the Mono parking lot and a portion of Mono Avenue West of Bolinas Road for bicycle parking.

Fairfax resident Renee Goddard spoke about the event at the Aug. 16 Fairfax Chamber mixer and encouraged local businesses to participate. “This is really about making a space for people. I hope you will come and will tell everyone to come.”

The Fairfax Chamber and Sustainable Fairfax are among the local organizations in support of “Streets for People” and have each pledged $1,000 for the event.

The event will require two additional officers on duty for traffic control, a cost estimated to be $720.

Fairfax Police Chief Chris Morin told the council in June that the police officers will have backup plans ready for implementation in case traffic gets especially unbearable. 

 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.

C Ross August 20, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Yes, I know my Town Council thinks I'm a whiny pain in the rear. So be it. (I've actually lived in Fairfax longer than most of them.) I'm all for streets -- and a town and community -- "for people". But I would appreciate it very much if ALL people here would be considered. For me, my family, and many other people I know, community should not be limited to People-Who-Ride-Bicycles, especially when said bike riders look down their noses at the rest of us, or impinge on our quality of life. Yes, there are very nice and considerate cyclists out there -- like the gentleman who not only stopped at a crosswalk for me yesterday, but held up his arms and stopped all the cars as well. But how many people here, except for a select few Green folks know what is required to be a Cittaslow town? http://cittaslowmold.co.uk/about...
Carol R August 20, 2012 at 05:05 PM
I am really stunned that this "event" was unanimously approved by the officials who represent the townspeople of Fairfax. It is clear from previous comments that this event is not supported by the majority commenters in Fairfax according to the Patch replies. It will be a major disruption to the residents with the diverted traffic overflowing into their neighborhoods onto roads NOT designed for this kind of traffic, and also inhibiting the free flow of any emergency vehicles that may have to get through. and Why???? This "event" offers NO meaningful value. The whole thing is absurdly irrational, in my opinion.
C Ross August 20, 2012 at 05:08 PM
PS Yes, I realize that each town is going to follow Cittaslow requirements a little differently. And, I personally don't think that many of the Cittaslow concepts are necessarily "bad". But I don't think it's right to pick and choose what you're going to force on everyone based on personal agendas of a select few, especially if you're overlooking other things that are even more important (and that are actually mandated by Cittaslow). For example, using Mold in Wales (What a name!), they call for providing for pedestrian safety and access, as well as maintained car parks. Not so here in Fairfax. Sorry, but until Fairfax can actually figure out how to improve infrastructure (e.g., fix our sidewalks, put in more crosswalks, widen roads so that SAFE bike lanes can be put in, and accommodate both car and bicycle traffic and parking so that people like me can walk downtown, or I can look out my window and not see a sea of Good Earth employee cars/people sitting in cars in MY driveway), I would prefer them not making additional half-baked plans that will likely make things far messier and more unsafe for most of us. :(
C Ross August 20, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Carol, i would suggest that more people start coming to Town Council meetings and following what is going on. It's not even necessarily this particular event that is problematic (though many people are not even aware it is happening). However, the reason this event was planned was to start working toward the eventual PERMANENT closure of Bolinas Road to car traffic. Of course, since Bolinas is the main access for many residents to get to and from their homes, it would be an absolute nightmare. but I guess our mayor hasn't considered that. (Or, doesn't care?) BTW, if the Town "really" wants a Streets for People event, I would suggest closing Center Blvd one Sunday a month. Good Earth can close for half a day and let all cyclists use the East End of their parking lot to park their BIKES. They could even close parts of Broadway and set up a farmer's or flea market in the parkade. If people need to drive to and from Fairfax, they could still use Sir Francis Drake, and the Bank of America and First Federal Parking lots could be used for temporary disabled parking spaces.
John Ferguson August 20, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Nothing that takes place ONE TIME from noon to 4 pm on a Sunday is a major disruption to anyone. Sorry..
John Ferguson August 20, 2012 at 08:26 PM
That's a great idea Cindy! I think you should propose it at the next Fairfax town council meeting. Good Earth wouldn't have to close, and they'd still have the east side parking lot available from Pastori. Once a month is about the right interval for something like this, and as you say there would still be access via SFD.
John Reed August 20, 2012 at 08:50 PM
The purpose of this event is to help out and to celebrate our local merchants in Fairfax, especially those on Bolinas Road. Traffic on this short stretch is being diverted one block, onto Bank street, connecting with Bolinas again right by the park. Since the idea of allowing events to happen on Bolinas has been suggested for years by members of the public, the Council felt that it would be a good idea to do this for one afternoon and see how it worked, rather than just speculate as to what MIGHT happen. As for the General Plan, it calls for talking about this as a community (along with other ideas that might help our downtown), after trying test runs of various ideas, such as what will occur on Sunday. The GP does NOT say that the objective is to make a permanent closure of Bolinas. An early draft listed that as one possibility, because so many people in the community have asked for it. Because objections were also heard, the Council removed that language from the plan, and supported instead an ongoing dialog, and a desire to explore various options that could help our community. The idea here is to try small steps, and learn what's the best way to help our town, and the vitality of our downtown. I look forward (along with many merchants and residents I've talked with) to seeing how it works on Sunday. Hope to see you there!
Mark Fiore August 20, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Let's take a deep breath and realize that the Streets for People street closure to cars is only about a block and a half stretch. You've got the entire rest of Marin, California and the North (& South) American continent if you really must drive that day. I think Streets for People is a great thing and like your idea of including Center Blvd, etc. City Streets in San Francisco has been a huge success and hasn't led to chaos and insurrection by those evil cyclists. More bike & pedestrian-friendly towns are good for everyone. See, SF, Boulder, CO & Manhattan.
C Ross August 21, 2012 at 01:15 AM
While I'm not surprised that you too want to shift the blame to me (implying I'm an idiot to boot), you're missing the point! I am a long time resident of Fairfax. I spent many years in the past volunteering for the Fairfax Festival (I used to be the parade chairperson), and rejoined the committee this year as a parade volunteer. I'm all for events that bring the community together to celebrate events and each other. Ironically, even though it's been done in the past, the Town/Fairfax PD wouldn't let us close the street, or even park parade vehicles on Center Blvd, for even a few hours to accommodate the parade participants. This isn't a matter of having "more" bike and pedestrian friendly towns either -- please don't lump the two together BTW. Closing off the major thoroughfare could possibly cause major gridlock, and despite what John says, the original intent -- and apparently the mayor's ongoing intent -- is to explore this as permanent. This isn't a matter of me wanting to drive specifically through town on that day, but of pointing out that the concerns of many of us have not been properly addressed. Over the past couple of years we have seen traffic/parking problems increase because of poor planning (e.g. with Center Blvd "beautification' project), and safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians decrease (e.g., cyclists riding on the sidewalks in congested areas), on top of accidents and injuries due to broken sidewalks, potholes, no crosswalks, etc. ...
C Ross August 21, 2012 at 01:38 AM
John, If what you're saying is true, Jessica got the facts wrong, and somebody needs to tell Pam. http://sananselmofairfax.patch.com/articles/fairfax-council-shows-support-for-streets-for-people-event-on-bolinas-road#photo-10230342 But, I suspect she's not listening, at least not to me, and that her agenda, regardless of what it actually is, or why, will get pushed through anyway. Again, I'm not "against" a community event. But, I am concerned when something gets pushed on us and is presented as a "Green" solution, without any consideration for what the actual impact is on the people who are ACTUALLY being affected. You want to close the streets to cars? Fine! But make sure you have enough officers to prevent people from turning around in my driveway, blocking my driveway, or my front gate. And if you want me and my family to walk to the event (sorry, medical conditions prevent me from riding a bike right now), then fix the sidewalks so I don't fall again, make sure the cyclists are riding in the bike lanes and not on the sidewalk, line up the crosswalks so my mother (age 92) can use her scooter (oops, it's got a motor) and not fall out or injure herself again trying to get across the street. (PS While Bolinas will be closed to traffic that day, I bet the rest of Fairfax will look like a giant parking lot.)
ACG August 21, 2012 at 04:13 AM
I think that the street event is a interesting experiment. While I don't agree with the idea of permanent closure. Sunday closures could be fun, think golden gate park. Also I don't mind trying to get more people to the shops on Bolinas....what's worse than empty store fronts. Another idea is just turn a couple of parking spots into parklets. http://sfpavementtoparks.sfplanning.org/ The seem to be doing very well in sf and beyond. As for the sidewalks, they are teribble and the building owner should fix them not the Town (section 1.12.045 municipal code). But they need money to fix them, so lets experiment by closing the streets and drive up revenue and get the sidewalks fixed.
Ali L. August 21, 2012 at 05:12 AM
I love, love, LOVE this idea -- and what great timing now that school has started again. And, of course, I love all of our Fairfaxians who pitch in their time to make fantastic community events like this happen! Hope it brings new blood to the downtown businesses...I heard it's hard to get the streets closed (Halloween, anyone?) so it must have been quite a negotiation on all sides to make this happen... Yay, Chamber! Yay Council! Yay Fairfax!
David Sinaiko August 22, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Streets For People sounds like a terrific idea and a worthy experiment. As a resident of the central part of Fairfax, I hope it goes well - and I really hope it helps out the Bolinas Rd. merchants.
jen Jones August 22, 2012 at 01:56 AM
This is a wonderfull idea, thankyou Renee Goddard for all your hard work making it happen & thanks to the Chamber & Council & Sustainable Fairfax. So great to have a few hours without cars , a chance to relax with our beautifull community. This is the BEST town!
Danielle Fogel August 22, 2012 at 02:59 AM
I will be there on Sunday for four hours because I believe in supporting our downtown Fairfax.
E Brown August 22, 2012 at 03:54 AM
I am very excited to come to the first ever Streets for People in Fairfax. Thank you to the many volunteers (and Renee Goddard, chief organizer) for having the vision and foresight to imagine our town as a safer, slower version of its wonderful self. I'm sure any short term inconveniences can be borne by those affected. See you there!!
Lori Hennessey August 22, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Thank you to all the volunteers for putting this event together. It is so nice to live in a town that helps to build community and supports the downtown merchants.
Robin G August 22, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Thankyou Renee and Fairfax Town Council for working together to make this happen. I am sure there's many more folk who deserve our thanks too. Here's to strengthening our community and with that, the many other great things that happen. We're looking forward to seeing our friends and neighbours there!
Julia Ledyard August 22, 2012 at 04:56 AM
What a wonderful event. Looking forward to being there and celebrating our community! Thanks for all your hard work Renee!
Susanna Fassberg August 22, 2012 at 03:38 PM
What a fun, community-building, family-friendly, business-friendly idea. I llove our town!
Susan King August 22, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Congrats, Fairfax! I wish I could come, but we have our Chinatown Sunday Streets in SF that same day. Good luck!
tony masi August 22, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Since one of the primary goals for this event is to increase business for downtown Fairfax merchants, let's kindly ask those same downtown merchants to provide us with some easily obtained data which can measure the effectiveness of this event. How will this Sunday's end-of-the-day income total compare percentage-wise to a few previous Sunday totals. Maybe Patch or the Town Council can act as a clearinghouse to collect and then publish the results of the data submitted. It might require a little telephone canvassing. It serves the interests of downtown businesses to provide data that shows whether this type of event positively or adversely affects their profits. And those people who are strongly in support of continuing street closures can easily skew the results in their favor by spending money generously downtown this Sunday.
C Ross August 23, 2012 at 12:10 AM
I hope that this is what this event turns out to be. Despite some of my earlier comments, I actually do like the thought of Fairfax being kind of like a European city for a day (Vienna's first district comes to mind), with people walking, shopping, drinking coffee, etc., with no car (OR bicycle) traffic. But what's different here, is that every time there is a town event (especially since the Good Earth moved), my neighborhood is negatively impacted by both car and bicycle traffic/parking, including cyclists riding on sidewalks and making it unpleasant, if not unsafe for pedestrians. I also wish that some money would go toward fixing our sidewalks and streets. Like someone else posted in a previous article about this event, Fairfax should work toward fixing, rather than creating additional traffic problems. Also, like someone else said, a one day event shouldn't cause serious problems for anyone. It's more the underlying issue for me that there are those who are trying to make this a permanent situation, without necessarily considering everyone involved. Thanks.
Deirdra Rogers August 23, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Don't we close Center and Bolinas for the Fairfax parade each year? If we can do that, certainly we can handle four hours this Sunday. Come out and experience a different kind of Fairfax. Who knows...it might be fun!
Tony Gardner August 23, 2012 at 06:07 PM
This is a great idea that supports sustainability, healthiness, community, and local commerce. Because I have seen how well this has worked in other town and cities, I will be there to volunteer and help make it happen in our town.
Jennifer Hammond August 23, 2012 at 09:21 PM
I can't wait for this event. The constant flow of cars has a bigger impact on us than we realize. When they are removed - even for 2 blocks - it is so much easier to relax, breathe, and enjoy our town.
C Ross August 24, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Some may find this hard to believe, but I agree that a place people can walk and be outside in the street is great. But I'm concerned about some of the details of this that may not have been considered. (Maybe they have, but I'm not aware of it.) For example, there are several private residences on the stretch of Bolinas Road. When I walked to the Farmer's Market yesterday, I noticed cars in some of the driveways. Have those residents been informed that they will not be allowed to drive their cars out of their driveways on Sunday? Have they agreed?
Karen Kefauver August 24, 2012 at 04:31 PM
We are launching our first Santa Cruz Open Streets here in Santa Cruz, California. Hope you will join us. Read my story about it here: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/sports/ci_21389085/karen-kefauver-spin-city-closing-west-cliff-open


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