Supervisor Kate Sears here with updates for Southern Marin residents

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Supervisor Kate Sears here with updates on…

Ramp Metering Update

Northbound 101 in southern Marin has been selected by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) as the first segment of a countywide ramp metering project. This segment will run from just north of the Golden Gate Bridge to the Sir Francis Drake on-ramp in the northbound direction. Five on-ramps in the southern Marin segment will be widened as part of this project -- at Bridgeway, Blithedale Avenue, Tiburon Boulevard, Tamalpais Drive and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.

Caltrans is preparing plans and environmental documents, and will be in charge of construction. The Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) is working with Caltrans, MTC and local agencies to assure no negative impacts to local streets and roads. TAM’s Ramp Metering Technical Advisory Committee, composed of local Marin public works directors, is being kept apprised of the details of this project.

MTC recently completed a Preliminary Ramp Metering Assessment Report that is available on the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) website, There are a number of key findings in the report:

  • MTC expects ramp metering to reduce travel times as a result of less congestion and a steadier flow of traffic with fewer occurrences of stop-and-go conditions.
  • Smoother traffic flow on the freeway is expected to improve traffic safety and air quality.
  • After widening the on-ramps and implementing ramp metering, vehicle queues are not expected to extend beyond the length of the ramp and spill onto local streets and intersections.
  • After implementation of ramp metering, motorists at the ramp meters may encounter more delay at the ramps than they currently experience. The average delay is predicted to be 1.5 minutes during the highest peak hour when the freeway is most congested.

TAM is closely monitoring the MTC/Caltrans process to assure that local roads are not affected by ramp metering queues or metering rates are set in a way that encourages drivers to divert to other nearby ramps.

Caltrans is on schedule to finish environmental studies this spring and to complete plans and specifications by the end of the year. Construction has not yet begun. Ramp metering for the initial segment is expected to be operating by late 2015/early 2016.

You can access the Southern Marin Northbound Ramp Metering Assessment Report on the TAM webpage via the “In the Spotlight” section in the lower left portion of the home page:

Regarding signing up for TAM’s e-notification, here are the steps:


2) At the home page, click on the “eNotice Sign Up” tab located on the left side of the screen under the photo montage.

3) type in your e-mail address

4) Click on all the box(es) of interest on that screen.  To receive news on ramp metering, click on the “Project Updates” and “Road Projects” boxes under “News”

5) Click on the “Subscribe” box.

Shoreline Highway/Route One Traffic Signal Work Continues

Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) and Caltrans are continuing to adjust signal timing at the Tennessee Valley Road/SR 1 intersection and to reduce travel times along the State Route One corridor.

A traffic signal consultant from W-Trans completed his field observations and provided some recommendations to improve the traffic signal timing. In particular, he observed that the timing for the left turn at the Tennessee Valley light contributed to congestion at unusual and unexpected times. Caltrans staff adjusted the traffic signal timing parameters on February 27 to better address this issue. County DPW will be doing field checks to see how these adjustments are affecting traffic flow.

Due to narrow road lanes on Gibson Avenue, cars parked near the intersection may have been activating the magnetic loop for the Flamingo Road/SR 1/Gibson Avenue traffic signal when there is no traffic needing to cross. When activated, the magnetic loop triggers the traffic signal to provide Gibson Avenue a green light. County DPW is coordinating with Caltrans staff to change the sensitivity of the magnetic loop. If this is not possible, DPW will work with the nearby property owner to maintain street parking but move the parked cars away from the loops so as not to trigger them.

County and Caltrans staff are considering whether it is necessary to install separate right turn signal heads on Tennessee Valley Road at Shoreline, as previously proposed. The hesitancy of motorists to turn right out of Tennessee Valley Road (while cars were turning left at that location) seems to have resolved.

Please continue to send to my office your observations about times it difficult to navigate this area. The more specific information, the better about the time of day, day of week, direction of travel and time to go particular distances. We forward this information to our DPW traffic staff, the traffic signal consultant, and to Caltrans, which controls the actual light timing on this State Highway.

We are working hard to ameliorate traffic delays and restore smooth commuting -- as much as possible given the diverse needs of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians along the Shoreline Highway/Route 1 corridor.

Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (MCSTOPPP) With Watering Tips to Save Water and $

MCSTOPPP has a cool fact sheet to remind people that it’s possible to have a beautiful garden without using a lot of water. There are also ways to reduce runoff from lawns and gardens that carry fertilizers and pesticides over sidewalks, into streets, and down storm drains! View safer alternatives and other fact sheets produced by one of MCSTOPPP’s community partners:  Our Water – Our World. Check it out!

The County of Marin first adopted a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan in 2006, which included a goal of reducing emissions countywide to 15% below 1990 levels by 2020. We are now in the process of updating that initial plan to include new measures and strategies to reach that target.

Join us for a community meeting to learn more about the update to the 2006 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan, hear about the progress that’s been made in reducing our County’s emissions to-date, and provide your input about what other strategies the County should consider. 

Doors open at 6pm and the County’s climate action team will be available to answer questions. The presentation will begin at 6:30pm.

When:        Monday, April 14, 2014 - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Where:       Marin Center Exhibit Hall, Manzanita Room

                     10 Avenue of the Flags        

                     San Rafael, CA 94903

 RSVP today!

(If link above doesn't work, please copy entire link into your web browser's URL)

Please feel free to send this invitation to others you know in the community who would be interested in attending this meeting.

If you have questions regarding the event, please contact Dana Armanino directly at 415-473-3292 or at Additional information on the County’s Climate Planning efforts can be found at

Need Some Excitement in Your Life? Volunteer! National Volunteer Week Celebration in Mill Valley on April 15th

Spring cleaning got you bored? Not enough spring in your step? Your clock has already sprung forward but you’re stuck in neutral? Time to get out and volunteer!

April 6th through April 13th is National Volunteer Week. To get things started, the City of Mill Valley will celebrate volunteer efforts in the Depot Plaza on Saturday, April 5th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Your can visit the booths of nonprofit organizations that help make our communities and families stronger, improve the environment, care for our streams and creatures, help students thrive and make a difference in our lives.

These organizations want you to know what they do and have a chance to recruit you! Get out and find a cause that’s meaningful to you and volunteer!

For additional volunteer opportunities, check out the County of Marin’s website where Civic Center Volunteers can put you to work in a host of fun, fascinating volunteer jobs and internships, from the Sheriff and District Attorney’s offices to the Anne T. Kent California History Room in the Civic Center Library. Here’s the link to get you started:

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