Few would disagree that the Highway 101/Greenbrae corridor, perhaps the busiest stretch of gridlock in the county, needs to be fixed. But seemingly nobody likes the plans put forth by the Transportation Authority of Marin.
Not only have crowds voiced their opinions at public forums, but there have also been petitions, flyers, websites and Facebook pages created to fight TAM’s plan. Oh, and the Audubon Society has retained a lawyer.
“We are all in agreement that traffic on Highway 101 is at times frustrating,” said Stan Hoffman, general manager of the Town Center Corte Madera shopping mall. “However, the proposed project from TAM does not appear to address the needs and wishes of our community.”
TAM and Caltrans have proposed a $143 million project that would create elevated freeway segments and remove a pedestrian overcrossing along the Larkspur and Corte Madera stretch of Highway 101. The rationale is that the stretch of freeway and the onramps are too congested and unsafe, notions nobody contends.
But the TAM plan, critics say, creates an eyesore and is not well thought out. Many also question whether or not the project's environmental impacts have been explored.
“What has been proposed by TAM is not appropriate for our community,” Hoffman said. “It is completely out of scale, it is ugly, and it appears to shift traffic from Highway 101 to our local streets. The residents of Marin County have fought hard to maintain the charm and beauty of our community, and this Los Angeles-style concrete structure is out of character and unnecessary.”
Twin Cities resident Glenda Corning tried to offer some support for TAM by saying, “I know they have our best interests in mind.” Still she said that the agency’s “get the traffic through” approach was not taking into consideration the entire community.
Corning also pointed out that TAM’s plan calls for destroying a vital pedestrian pathway that would not be replaced for years, forcing people to tread across busy intersections until the project is completed.
Corning also said that the massive structure would do nothing to help solve the annual issue of flooding in that area—and may make matters worse. “We have to plan for the future,” she said.
“TAM has a challenging task ahead of them, and while their hard work is appreciated, they have come up short with this proposal,” said Hoffman.
The public will get another chance to weigh in on the topic on Tue., Feb. 5, 7 p.m. at a joint Corte Madera-Larkspur Council meeting held at the Corte Madera Community Center.
What do you think of the plan? Let us know how you feel.
Here are some links for those seeking more information.
- Transit Authority of Marin’s page discussing this project.
- A website created by an organization called Marin Deserves Better and that group’s Facebook page.
- The Marin IJ’s latest article on the topic.