Marin County Traffic in Towns and along 101

Is Marin County Traffic getting worse?

Marin County Traffic

I 580/Richmond Bridge Robert Tong/MarinIJ


Everyone who lives in Marin County likely knows that the Marin traffic has gotten a lot worse the last 2 years.  A client asked me the other day how that was happening with Marin County traffic as we don’t have any new homes for new residents to live in?  I have an opinion as to what is happening.  Marin County hosts the eldest population in the state of California.  Many of those residents don’t drive much any more and are certainly not doing the daily school, soccer and work commuting trips that younger residents are required to do.  As  the elderly home

owners move out of their homes the most common buyers tend to be families with young children. That demographic requires a lot more auto traffic on our roads, hence the increased traffic!  (again this is my opinion on the matter but it makes sense!.

Dick Spotswood in the Marin IJ recently had a article on Marin Traffics problem, here is a link to it:  Marin Traffic 2015  saying:  “Congestion isn’t limited to Highway 101 or the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge approaches. Marin’s east-west arteries are intolerable. Ross Valley is held hostage to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard on both sides of 101. Mill Valley is plagued by East Blithedale Avenue and shares frustration with Tamalpais Valley over jammed Shoreline Highway. San Rafael’s Second and Third streets are as clogged as San Francisco’s one-way streets. Even blissful Tiburon and Belvedere are struggling with back-ups on Tiburon Boulevard.”

A lot of the 101 Northbound traffic could be greatly eased by the adding of a 3rd lane East Bound on 580/Richmond Bridge.  A bill promoted by Marc Levine was recently ok’d by the Governor Jerry Brown could help speed up the addition of the 3rd lane on the Richmond Brdige, but we are still months away from this happening.  In August 2015 Marc Levine added a new bill (Assembly Bill 9) to speed up the process and to open a 3rd lane in a temporary basis while the environmental and other review work is being done.   But that won’t be heard until January 2016!

“Levine contends opening the third lane is a simple fix: just paint in a new lane. The bridge initially had three lanes when it opened in 1956, but when drought hit in 1977 a lane was closed so a pipeline could be laid across the span to bring water to Marin. When the pipeline was removed in 1978, the lane was converted to a shoulder because of light traffic. ”  Marin IJ Governor OK’s bill 

I’ve heard one of the main issues is that there will no longer be a commute bike lane if a 3rd lane is opened to cars.  Really?  how many folks travel over the Richmond Bridge on bikes?  I’ve personally never seen one.

What do you think?


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