Here is another example of two government agencies working at cross-purposes.
SMART, the commuter-rail agency, is developing a new service along the highway-101 corridor. Meanwhile, the Marin Transportation Authority (TAM) is expanding highway capacity in the same location. One transportation agency trying to shift mode-share to trains, and the other transportation agency encouraging car travel.
The latest highway project from TAM is the Greenbrae interchange project — where Highway 101, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and the Larkspur Ferry Terminal meet (the Ferry Terminal, by the way, is to be the terminus for the SMART rail line). The interchange will get giant new flyovers, and screw up cycling for years to come:
The plan also could impact the bike and pedestrian traffic in the area, making it more dangerous for those groups, said Andy Peri, advocacy director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition. He noted the pedestrian and bike overcrossing over Highway 101 will be taken down as part of the project.
That will force those users to use car-busy Wornum Drive.
“People will not be comfortable having to use Wornum,” said Peri, adding that a new overcrossing should be built as part of the project. “There is a lot of traffic activity there. We want encourage bicyclists and pedestrians, not discourage them.”
The Greenbrae interchange project comes at a time when SMART still faces major financial shortfalls. As a result, SMART has done everything from stealing bike/ped funds, to blasting the MTC for not providing sufficient financial support.
And aside from the competing rail project, it should be noted that urban interchange projects rarely make sense. They are insanely disruptive and expensive ($143 million in this case), and provide hardly any traffic relief: