Marin Headlands Bicyclists Soon Will Enjoy Safer Roads

-Posted On June 12, 2013 In Bicycle Accidents-

I am happy to report to San Francisco Bay Area bicyclists and motorists alike that Project Headlands is well underway. Designed to reconfigure and improve Marin Headlands’ roads, particularly on the dangerous stretch of Alexander Avenue near Sausalito, all types of travelers will benefit, including motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and those in public transit.

Phase one started in 2010, improving several of the turnouts in the Marin Headlands that feature magnificent views of the Golden Gate. Phase two has been underway for a few months and will continue on into 2014, promising to increase the safety of the road for Marin County bicyclists. The second and final phase of this multi-million-dollar federal construction project includes plans to overhaul 11 miles of roadway and turnouts in the Marin Headlands, just northwest, and northeast of the Golden Gate Bridge. This roadway safety project will cost approximately $11 million.

Fort Cronkhite itself will get a makeover, including restoration of wetlands and replacement of its parking lots. Old Bunker Road, Mitchell Road, and Bunker Road will be resurfaced, restored and rehabilitated, and will receive guardrails.

Bicyclists from all over Marin and San Francisco, especially those riding to and from Southern Marin–Sausalito, Mill Valley, and Tiburon–are not only riding bicycles on the weekends but also are commuting to the City. Many cyclists enjoy their daily commute to work via the Golden Gate Bridge, but they have to ride on Alexander Avenue, which can be dangerous. As a bicycle attorney, I have handled many cases involving bicycle-auto collisions which occurred on Alexander Avenue.

Thankfully, the safety of Alexander Avenue will finally be addressed. This is great news to me as a Marin County Bicycle Accident Attorney, since I see countless bicycle enthusiasts and commuters use this road on a regular basis. In the last few years, I have also observed a tremendous increase in rental bicycles not only on the streets of San Francisco but also all over Southern Marin. These touring cyclists pedal down the Marina Green and across the Golden Gate Bridge and head down Alexander and into Sausalito (sort of clueless about their surroundings) on their way to a ferry back to San Francisco via Sausalito or Tiburon.

Bicyclists, cars, and buses remain in dangerous proximity to each other on older streets designed with only cars and trucks in mind. I look forward to finally seeing real bicycle safety improvements, especially with wider, more user-friendly shoulders on the sides of the road. Many of the shoulders are now only 1-2 feet wide and often bicyclists are forced into the roadway. New 5 foot shoulders will be welcome to all cyclists who have to share the road. It’s a big endeavor considering the construction would include carving away part of the hillside along the road, but I for one am truly happy to learn it will finally be happening.

As to everyone’s favorite Marin County Five-minute tunnel which links cars and bicycles to Fort Baker, has for my whole life has been only one way at a time. Ever an engineering challenge and harrowing ride or drive to the light at the proverbial end-of-the-tunnel will again be reconstructed, this time to allow for better sightlines to improve safety. Also, the turn lane from Alexander to the tunnel will be lengthened.

I look forward to riding my own bicycle along these newly improved roadways and learning one day that the frequency of bicycle accidents was reduced.

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