Nellen Avenue Becomes Front Line In Corte Madera's Battle

The Town Council says it will refuse to allow Caltrans to close Nellen Avenue to make way for the Greenbrae Interchange, as currently planned.

Corte Madera might have the final say in whether or not the Greenbrae Interchange is ever built. The project would force the closure of Nellen Avenue, something prohibited by the California State Streets and Highways Code without Corte Madera's permission.

The Corte Madera Town Council on Monday night approved a resolution that states it does not consent to the closure of Nellen Avenue. The language of the resolution suggests the Town Council could be open to exploring alternate project designs with Caltrans.

"We support the council's action to prevent Caltrans from usurping its domain over that town street. We think it will affect the local community greatly," said Sebastian Jackovics, whose family owns most of the private commercial real estate on Nellen Avenue, including the lots for Big 5 Sporting Goods and SF Fitness. "Any talk of closing (the Lucky rive exit) should mean that you should close Redwood High School too. And you should also inform Larkspur that they should close Larkspur on that end too, because there'll be no way to get there except through Tamal Vista."

The City of San Rafael used the same legal basis to prevent the construction of a flyover connection between Highway 101 and the Richmond Bridge.

"Let's just look at the minutes of how San Rafael proceeded and copy them," Corte Madera Town Councilman Michael Lappert suggested, with a half-joking tone, that Corte Madera should follow San Rafael's example.

Corte Madera isn't showing any love for the Greenbrae Interchange Project. The Corte Madera Town Council isn't sending any heart-shaped cards to Caltrans, either, but the Council is preparing to send a letter to Sacramento this week.

The Town Council was preparing a letter Monday to Caltrans outlining the town's objections to the controversial Greenbrae Interchange Project. The purpose of the letter is to make Caltrans aware of Corte Madera's opposition to the current plans and to encourage the agency to perform a full environmental impact review. It's also an official record documenting Corte Madera's battle with the project and the Transportation Authority of Marin over the past several years.

Caltrans is accepting comments from the public on the Greenbrae Interchange Project through Feb. 14.

"I just wanted to comment personally how frustrating it is that we find ourselves here now having to make this decision," Mayor Diane Furst said. "Somebody asked, this has been going on so long, why is it that TAM has pushed this through? They keep saying they'll address your concerns, but they haven't. For years, Corte Madera has been voicing concerns. It's not been that we have just sat idly by not saying a word while this process has continued. … I agree that by sending a very strong message that we will not be giving up Nellen Avenue, we will hopefully get some attention on the TAM board, if not at Caltrans."

Phil Terry February 12, 2013 at 08:07 PM
Someone suggested getting off at Greenbrae crossing Sir Francis Drake with the light and go back up on the ramp and down again to 101 avoiding the merging from 101. A sign on 101 could point this out for South bound traffic. There should at least be a sign that warns through traffic to merge left prior to the exit. If this is such a dangerous spot a warning sign should be up and the comment to encourage traffic to use Madera or the next exit to reduce congestion and the associated merging.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »