Marin Clings to Status Quo

As the Transportation Authority of Marin was determining what projects to submit to the 2017 Regional Transportation Plan, TRANSDEF’s President testified, “Highway performance is at near-crisis levels. Mobility is severely impaired. Yet you are being offered more of the same.” See that testimony and the rest of the Marin page. TAM didn’t discuss whether there was a problem, and adopted staff’s status quo proposal. Read More...

Mill Valley Traffic--Bursting at the Seams

With traffic in Mill Valley reaching record levels of congestion, the City Council designated a Mill Valley Traffic Task Force to look for solutions. TRANSDEF’s President offered these thoughts to the Task Force, indicating that solutions would not be found that restore past conditions:

I'd like to offer you a mental frame for the traffic issue, one you've probably never heard:

We're at the point where the roadway system in developed areas has reached a state of maturation. The fiscal and environmental costs of expanding capacity are so high that it is mostly out of reach. Yet vehicle trips keep increasing. This results in ever-increasing congestion all over the Bay Area, which is significantly worse here.

Mill Valley is something like a pressure cooker, because of its isolation from the rest of the county. Because of that, Mill Valley is at the bleeding edge of this change.

Putting More Action Into Marin Climate Action Plan

TRANSDEF submitted a set of comments on the Draft Marin Climate Action Plan. They focused on reprioritizing Marin’s transportation funding to support alternatives to driving alone, rather than continuing to focus resources on supporting solo driving. Read More...

Golden Gate Bridge District Firmly Plants Itself in 20th Century

The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District’s Transportation Committee voted unanimously today to provide more auto parking for passengers of the Larkspur Ferry. They voted to give notice to the Marin Airporter to vacate the Larkspur Landing site it leases from the District. The District’s plan is to use the parking spaces currently used by Airporter customers for its ferry passengers.

TRANSDEF’s President was the only member of the public to speak on the item. His suggestion that the District show leadership on climate change by encouraging its passengers to arrive at the Ferry Terminal by ways other than solo driving was ignored by the Committee. The text of his comments follows. Read More...

TRANSDEF Proposes New Approach at TAM

TRANSDEF appeared at the Transportation Authority of Marin to propose a strategic approach to operating the agency. In particular, the time has come to recognize that the era of the single-occupant vehicle is over. There isn’t enough roadway capacity to accommodate all those solo drivers, and there isn’t enough money or right-of-way to feasibly do that. Rather than having a congestion problem, Marin has an expectation problem, in which people expect to be able to drive alone.

A New Section: Marin County

TRANSDEF has been actively involved in the Greenbrae Corridor Improvement Project Advisory Committee, which has been meeting to develop a consensus on what to do instead of the soundly rejected $143 million Highway 101 project in the Larkspur/Corte Madera area. TRANSDEF submitted four proposals to the public input process, which are available on TRANSDEF’s Marin County page.

In its August 26 meeting, the Committee approved a consensus plan including the following elements that had been proposed by TRANSDEF: a North-South bikeway on the railroad trestle, if feasible; improved merging of E. Sir Francis Drake Blvd. with I-580; and an added eastbound lane on E. Sir Francis Drake Blvd.

Marin County has become known lately for very vocal opposition to the Bay Area’s regional plan. TRANSDEF published an opinion piece on recent
overreactions to regional planning. In an effort to foster an informed dialogue over housing issues, the Marin County League of Women Voters has published Dispelling the Myths Surrounding Affordable Housing.

RTP Submission by TAM

TRANSDEF’s Comments to the Transportation Authority of Marin
Regional Transportation Plan Discussion, 10-27-11

You have the authority to set a very new direction for transportation in this county. But you would never know it by reading the staff report. Judging by the report, this agenda item appears to be just another routine item.

The whole point of this agenda item last month had been to ask you what weight to give to each of the RTP candidate priority criteria. But that focus has been buried. It isn't at all clear what you are expected to do with this item. If you had been properly briefed by staff, you would recognize this item as the ultimate transportation policy setting discussion.

In my view, this is yet another in a long history of presentations shaped to maintain the status quo. TAM's predecessor agency had an ugly practice of keeping decision makers in the dark, so as to have staff positions rubber-stamped.