Capdiamont\’s Weblog


MIJ: A Larkspur-SMART partnership
Thursday 2 Oct 2008, 07:42
Filed under: Marin, Railroad, SMART

People blame SMART for not having a direct connection to the ferry. The problem wasn’t SMART, but the Larkspur not allowing them a direct connection. Will this be corrected or mitigated?

Staff Report
Article Launched: 10/02/2008 12:09:22 AM PDT

DAN HILLMER

ON OCT. 15 and prior to the November vote on the Measure Q train tax, the Larkspur City Council and the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit board have a significant opportunity to provide leadership and, by resolution, support coordinated planning at the train’s proposed Larkspur Landing terminus.

A proposed comprehensive planning effort should include a working group of representatives from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Golden Gate Bridge District, the Transportation Authority of Marin, Caltrans, SMART, the city of Larkspur, Marin Airporter and other local stakeholders to resolve, plan and coordinate important issues, including:

– A possible walking connection from train platform to ferry (an elevated moving walkway, for example) for commuters to San Francisco;

– Additional parking for train, ferry, Marin Airporter and office users;

– Convenient, organized auto/shuttle/bus circulation, access and egress;

– Improved pedestrian and bike circulation for the area;

– Mitigated impacts to the Highway 101/Greenbrae interchange;

– Land-use impacts and opportunities for Larkspur Landing area properties;

– Other significant environmental impacts and mitigations.

– Policy guidance on the development future of the total San Quentin Peninsula.

The goal, to reduce carbon emissions – by providing convenient choices to driving and reducing, significantly, the total number of vehicle miles traveled – is worth the effort to pool resources
and share a planning process.

The resolutions as proposed for adoption by each agency on Oct. 15 are intended as statements of understanding to identify stakeholders and work together to provide solutions for the issues outlined above before any construction of the San Rafael/Larkspur Landing segment of the train line would commence.

This planning effort would help encourage ridership through improved connections to the ferry, convenient access and area wide circulation improvements, especially for shuttles, buses, walkers and bicyclists.

During the last 18 months, I have personally walked the Larkspur Landing area with SMART board members and discussed this unique opportunity to work together toward a successful linking of pedestrians, bicyclists, auto circulation, shuttles, buses, train and ferry.

Working together, in the tradition of Marin’s cooperative agencies would provide, in my opinion, the leadership necessary to bring benefit and true transit choices for all.

Speaking for myself, I will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the process with my Larkspur City Council colleagues and consider adopting the resolution proposed for the council agenda. It will match a proposed action by the SMART board at its Oct. 15 meeting.

Joint passage of the resolutions would, in effect, create and commence a working planning group. Shared funding of the process by all of the stakeholders would be an efficient use of time and money.

Let’s work together to make this Marin-Sonoma transit plan a success. It requires team building, consensus and leadership. We can agree to disagree on individual issues, but let’s keep our focus on the goal.

We can do it now if we keep working together.

Dan Hillmer is a member of the Larkspur City Council and a local architect.

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