- Improve pedestrian safety at Fourth Street
- Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards
- Reduce traffic signal phases to reduce car wait times and thus improve traffic flow
Fourth Street, also known as the “Miracle Mile” connects San Rafael to San Anselmo and all points west in Marin County. Through central San Rafael, Fourth Street is a retail shopping street but west of the downtown core, Fourth Street becomes a six lane separated arterial street serving all of the commuters from West Marin who use the route to access Highway 101 as well as tourist traffic that traverses the stretch to reach West Marin and Point Reyes National Seashore and other coastal destinations. The route serves nearly 20,000 vehicles per day and smooth traffic flow is essential to ensuring people can get to and from their destinations easily.
The corridor was built in the mid-20th century and has surpassed its useful life. The traffic signals are outdated, pedestrian facilities do not meet the current ADA standards, and the facility is in need of major improvements to handle the multi-modal traffic using it each day. The intersection of Fourth Street and Second Street is the City’s gateway from west Marin and serves local and regional transit buses for commuters and other users from and to West Marin County. The existing intersection contains five separate traffic signal phases, legs, each of which requires time for vehicles and pedestrian to transit through it. The main routes are also at a skewed angle which creates confusion for bicycles, pedestrians, and motorists through the intersection. This project would reconfigure the streets so they meet as a tee-intersection, shortening the crossing distances and minimizing the number of crossings for pedestrians and bicycles. The five current legs would be reduced to three, shortening the wait times and improving throughput for all users here including public transit operations. The project would also complete the Class IV bikeway connection from West Street to West End and the Greenfield Avenue bike facility, which is a critical connection listed as a top priority in the City’s Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan. Additionally as part of this plan and to address traffic concerns at this intersection, one major improvement the City would like to make as part of its Third Street Corridor Rehabilitation and Safety Improvements project is a separated bicycle connection from Marquard Avenue to Miramar Avenue.
Other improvements include accessibility improvements, drainage, undergrounding of overhead electrical service, and the signalization of the intersection of West Crescent and Fourth Street providing safety and access improvements, and improving throughput at the currently non-signalized intersection.
Lauren Davini, PE, TE | Senior Traffic Engineer