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Voice Your Opinion on the Greenbrae Corridor Plan

Many Twin Cities residents don’t like what they see from TAM’s efforts to fix the busy section of Highway 101.

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.

Walter McClellan February 04, 2013 at 02:55 PM
At least 250 people attended TAM's only public hearing on this project at Redwood High School last week, and only one (1) spoke in favor of the project. Public opposition is turning to public outrage as more people become aware of the massive concrete structures up to 33 feet high that will create more problems than they resolve.
Mark Fiore February 04, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Tearing down a pedestrian/bike overpass and building elevated roadways? Sounds like TAM has their time machine set on reverse. (And the futuristic techno beat on the video doesn't solve the problem.)
Peter Chase February 04, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Bike and walkways must be priority for the area, not an accommodation within increased roadways. In this design there are 19 lanes across, but still only ONE exit lane on to SFD NB off 101. Solve the exit issues on and off 101 to SFD with 2 lanes, make 2 lanes each way to Richmond bridge, and most problems will be solved. With SMART, Hotel on SFD, new housing in Larkspur and Corte Madera, bikes are more important than ever. Do NOT put the Bellam/580 interchange in Corte Madera.
Novato Chess Club February 04, 2013 at 04:14 PM
build it and they will come
Pat Williams February 04, 2013 at 04:40 PM
A simple solution that should be tried first. Widening the SFD onramp to another lane would help. I also feel that there is no need for a Wornum interchange with this proposal, however, there should be another lane added from Fifer onramp to the Madera Blvd. exit, which would continue into the Tamalpais Dr Southbound exit. As it is now, there is a fast merge at the top of the Wornum overcrossing, and it is not evident to drivers unfamiliar with the area. I have tried in the past to get Caltrans to paint merge arrows on that approach to the overpass, with no success. I have personally been on two fatalities at that location as a volunteer CMFD responder, and I have heard of others going over the edge there. I have had a few near misses myself with merging traffic at that location. Adding a lane to the over-crossing would probably eliminate the problem. There is enough freeway right of way to extend the lane to Madera SB exit. It might require some soundwall mitigation on that section.
Pat Williams February 04, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Another improvement would be to replace the signals at Nellen/Fifter and Tamal Vista, Wornum at Tamal Vista, Wornum and Redwood Hwy with round-a-bouts. This would eliminate the need for signals, allow more efficient flow of traffic, and reduce both water and air pollution in the area, as stopping and starting vehicles requires much more energy and brake use than simply flowing through a round-a-bout. Most states are going this direction, especially in high volume areas coming off freeways. They are not as pedestrian friendly, but you move the pedestrian crossing down the road aways and provide a signalized ped crossing either using flashing yellow strobes as used in San Anselmo on Drake, or an actual red light. I have even seen them use drop gates like a railroad crossing in England for ped. crossings. I tried to get Cliff Temps and Caltrans to look at a round-a-bout at the Bayside of Tamalpais Dr. when they were redoing that for the Village, but they wouldn't consider even looking into it. It would still be an ideal location for one, and eliminate the stacking on the Tamalpais overcrossing in the the left lanes, and would allow two way traffic on Paradise drive to work there. Of course it would cost at least ten times more to retrofit now than if they had designed it from the beginning. Even another turn lane to San Clemente South in the short section in front of the Home Consignment Store would have helped a lot.
Glenda Corning February 04, 2013 at 07:22 PM
Thanks for including the video. I think people will be shocked to see what the TAM group has planned for our area. This massive expansion plan will totally change the ambience of our community, physically divide us and make pedestrian and bicycle travel more challenging. It must be re-designed on a more modest scale. This plan looks like something you would see in Southern California!
Donald Stroh February 04, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Has anyone looked at re-doing the 101 / 580 interchange to get all the traffic off of SFD and provide real on ramps from 101 N to 580 E and from 580 W to 101 S?? If they made that a functional interchange and loaded that traffic on at that interchange that would ease some of the SFD congestion. I think the MTA design is horrible and will close on ramps and exits that people use and make the entire Wornum interchange a disaster once the apartment come. Is complete.
Marcia Hagen February 05, 2013 at 12:26 AM
The improvement I want to see is to exit at Lucky Drive coming south from San Rafael and not have to weave through all the traffic heading south from SFD. Improvements should make it easier to shop in Corte Madera from towns west and north without putting one's life in jeopardy.
Walter McClellan February 05, 2013 at 12:40 AM
It would be better to exit at Madera Boulevard if you want to shop at the Town Center or the Marketplace, where Book Passage is located. You can do that safely, now.
Sally Smith February 05, 2013 at 06:44 AM
Terrible idea! It will destroy the property values of the homeowners on Tamal Vista, cause excessive noise and air pollution, clog surface streets and make it dangerous to walk or ride your bike on Tamal Vista or Wernum. Why would anyone think this is acceptable? NO to the 101 project!!
Elvis February 05, 2013 at 07:10 AM
from the video, the exit at lucky is eliminated, thereby lessening the danger of that exit.
Elvis February 05, 2013 at 07:20 AM
the standardization of the interchanges really only alleviates a couple of issues while oddly does not address 2 or 3 other issues which are important and finally making one exit (the northbound 101 exit to SFD) more challenging than it already is. add to that the vast amount of concrete and ugliness and potential isolation of the residences in the trailer park and the project is not a step forward. but sideways or perhaps backwards. I understand that the current system of exits and on ramps is out-dated or euphemistically "antique", but it is workable for the most part once a driver learns their way around.
Carol Sheehy February 05, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Seems like a lot of money to spend on a project that is unsightly and fails to meet the needs of the area.
Carol munson February 05, 2013 at 07:47 PM
I am concerned that there will be traffic exiting off the freeway onto Tamal Vista and the Redwood frontage road via Wornum. These surface streets are already congested enough, especially Redwood Hall's school day is over. Tamal Vista will be the only means to get access to Dougherty from the freeway. Not a good idea at all.
25 Year Resident February 05, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Since the Sir Francis Drake entry onto 101 South already needs to be raised to cross the Corte Madera Creek, doesn't it make more sense to extend that overpass and have the cars taking the current Fifer Ave./DMV exit go under that single raised portion?
Ronda McCarthy February 10, 2013 at 06:31 PM
This plan looks horrible. I'm a full time commute driver to SF. Frankly, I would far prefer sitting in traffic to this monstrosity. Surely all that money could be used to provide a more "people friendly" solution rather than create an eye sore that robs us of the beauty of the area and doesn't really solve the issues.

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