Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Gate 6 Intersection Update

Public input: Mickey Allison of Issaquah at the podium, with Lazlo Toth of 'A' Dock in line to comment.
Photo and post by Jenny Stein

GATE 6 ROAD / BRIDGEWAY AND NB 101 ON-RAMP INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENTS

A number of floating homes residents attended the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC) monthly meeting on Nov.21. The Gate 6 Intersection Improvement project is moving forward, and the good news includes: a signal and green lane for the bicyclists heading south from the Mill Valley Bike Path; three vehicle lanes coming out from Gate 6 (left, straight, and right); and safer crossing for pedestrians walking to and from Marin City. Construction is scheduled to begin in early summer 2017.

C-3.1 Pavement Delineation – click to enlarge
That's the 'Cliff Notes' version. The entire 2-hour video of the meeting is available – CLICK HERE. Once at this site, skip through the meeting by sliding the cursor at the bottom of the screen – to the start of the presentation [34:21] – or to the section where the public is invited to speak [1.00:24]. While this project has been in development since 2011, it's been a few years since this was last addressed in a public forum. It was at a workshop, back in early 2014, that members of the community gave their input; the plan being implemented today – the 'Bike Signal Option' – is a direct result of that input. The technical aspects are complete, the plans are ready to be sent out for bids, encroachment permits have been sorted, and funds appear to be lining up nicely. The PBAC is putting their full weight behind this proposal. Fingers crossed.

C-3.2 Signage Plan – click to enlarge
One caveat. If we think the intersection is tricky now – with cars, bicycles and (not least) pedestrians moving at cross-purposes – it will be doubly so once construction gets underway. We should be prepared for a summer full of disruption and delays. The upside is that once the work is complete we'll have an intersection that should function far better than the one we currently have. Maybe not perfectly – bicyclists may still choose to line up (to cross SB) in the car lanes – but the hope is that the majority of riders would hold up as a group (in the bump-out to be built), and, when given the green light, ride diagonally across the intersection, following the green dashed stripes (complete with bicycle icons). Stay tuned.

The Goal: Operational Flexibility and Safety – some highlights of what to expect:

  • Clear and better signage all-round
  • An additional lane out of Gate 6: dedicated left, thru & right lanes
  • Bump out at the end of the bike path for SB bikes to hold up
  • Green striped diagonal bike crossing at the Gate 6 Intersection
  • Phased bike signals in both NB and SB directions – activating both the bike signals and 'no right turn on red' signals for vehicles
  • Phased pedestrian signals – activating a double lane 'no right turn on red' restriction – important for those walking to and from Marin City

On a technical note, the bike-specific and 'no right turn on red' signals will be triggered only when bicycles are present. Effectively, induction coils – embedded in the pavement – sense the metal of the bikes and activate the signal. At peak – up to 200 bicyclists per hour move through that intersection – these lights will be activated on a regular basis, part of the rotation of traffic signals we currently experience. In the absence of bicyclists, the signal will not be triggered, enabling vehicles to turn right on red, as they do now. Additionally, as movements for pedestrians and bicycles do not overlap, the signals can be activated simultaneously, and should not introduce additional delays.

Even after construction is complete, PBAC and other interested parties will look at the intersection to review and fine tune (as needed) the above approach. Among the public comments made at the meeting was a request for communication outreach – to both the Marin County and SF bicycle coalitions (for example) – highlighting just how important communication will be to the success and functioning of this newly reconstructed area.

previous post and related links:
Public Hearing Nov. 21 – Gate 6 Intersection Improvements – 7 pm at Sausalito City Hall

GATE 6 ROAD / BRIDGE ROAD / BRIDGEWAY AND NB US 101 ON-RAMP INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENTS   (the complete set of drawings)