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Pedestrians and cyclists in Corte Madera may soon have a safer option for getting from the west to the east side of town.

One local resident and architectural designer spoke of the inherent problems of having “a freeway interchange running through the middle of [the] community.”

A proposed overpass for cyclists and pedestrians linking the mountains and bay is in the works. This pro bono project has been planned for a year to rise above Hwy. 101 for a quarter of a mile on Tamalpais Drive.

The proposed design is a type of boardwalk that includes both pedestrian and bike paths for families that will be safe for children. It will extend from the northern side of the Tamalpais Drive bridge.

Also, it will connect with paths to shopping malls in the Village, as well as to the Town Center and include safe and accessible bus stops. Instead of cloverleaf-design freeway ramps, traffic lights will be installed that have signals for those turning left. Additional space will be occupied by landscaping and a park-and-ride that can accommodate 500 vehicles.

Each day, over 24,000 vehicles use the overpass. The bridge now only has a single sidewalk. High speeds from vehicular traffic off the freeway ramps makes it a danger for pedestrians and cyclists.

The overpass on Tamalpais Drive was built in the 1950s. It is within Caltrans’ jurisdiction and qualifies for accessibility upgrades that are estimated to carry a price tag of approximately $8 million.

Funding sources and cost estimates didn’t include the larger-scope project, but a councilman’s wife connected with the manager of the firm tasked with identifying pro bono projects. This was enough to transport it from the realm of pipe dreams to reality.

Pedestrians who get hit by vehicles can seek legal guidance to learn what rights they have regarding compensation for their injuries.

Source: Marin Independent Journal, “Corte Madera volunteers conceive bike-pedestrian overpass,” Adrian Rodriguez, April 27, 2017

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