Pride Flag

The City of San Rafael celebrates Pride Month

 

Canal Neighborhood Improvements

Overview

The City of San Rafael is actively engaged in several construction related projects in the Canal neighborhood. From Street pavement improvements, to public lighting, to pump station repair and replacement, there is no shortage of projects that the City has recently completed or is in active construction in the Canal neighborhood. This site is intended to serve as a central access point for community members, stakeholders, City staff and any others to find the most up to date information on projects specifically located and which serve the Canal neighborhood of San Rafael.

Canal Community Based Transportation Plan

Department of Public Works Traffic Division staff worked closely with Canal community stakeholders to create the 'Canal Community Based Transportation Plan' in 2022. The plan allows community members, stakeholders and City leaders to understand challenges, hear community input, draft a long-term plan and identify funding for future transportation projects in the Canal neighborhood. 

Learn more about the Canal Based Transportation Plan here. 

Lighting Improvements

San Rafael's storied Canal neighborhood includes some of the most densely populated Marin County residential areas frequented by walkers, bikers, commuters, and residents alike. However, some residential neighborhoods lack adequate lighting, which can lead to reduced pedestrian safety, walkability, and increased opportunities for illegal dumping at night. In response to community feedback, advocacy groups and organizations led by Voces del Canal (project team) identified areas that needed more public lighting. The project team has worked with City staff to improve lighting infrastructure in key areas in the Canal.

Learn more about the Canal Community Lighting Project here.

Pickleweed Park Enhancement Project

Pickleweed Park and the Albert J. Boro Community Center serve as a gathering point for San Rafael’s communities where partnerships and collaborations engage public, private and civil sectors in delivering services that better the neighborhood, the City of San Rafael and the County of Marin. Typically, the heavily used sports fields are closed for six months of the year to repair and rejuvenate the natural turf.  The community highlighted converting the field to synthetic turf for year-round access as a top priority. From this feedback, the City developed a conceptual plan, which was used in 2020 and 2022 to apply for funding from Proposition 68 and the Land and Later Conservation Fund. The City is happy to announce that, as of July 2022, California State Parks has recommended the Pickleweed Park Enhancement Project to the National Park Service for a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant. 

To learn more about the Pickleweed Enhancement Project, visit the dedicated webpage here.

Pickleweed Branch Library 

We are excited to announce that City of San Rafael has been selected to receive a $1M grant from the California State Library’s Building Forward program to redesign and expand the interior space at the Pickleweed Branch library. This grant will allow us to increase public and staff space within the current footprint of the building by creatively redesigning the interior of this much-loved branch library to improve both the patron and staff experience. The Building Forward program prioritizes projects in high-poverty areas and those that address life-safety and critical maintenance and infrastructure needs. The grant requires a 100% match, which the City will achieve through the gracious memorial funds that have been established for improved Library facilities and services.

Establishing New Underground Utility District 

The Department of Public Works had partnered with PG&E to establish an underground utility district (UUD) on Canal Street between Medway Road to Spinnaker Point Drive as part of the “Rule 20A Utility Undergrounding Program.” The existing parallel parking on the north side of Spinnaker Point Drive between Bahia Way and the crosswalk west of Portsmouth Cove were converted to angled parking by reconfiguring the roadway, narrowing the median, and realigning the sidewalk.  The conversion resulted in 42 angled parking spaces, two of which are accessible parking spaces. Other improvements include new curb and gutter, widened sidewalk to enhance the pedestrian experience, and streetlights to improve visibility and safety of the area.

On June 20th, 2023, the City Council adopted a resolution to designate the underground utility district on Canal Street between Medway Road and Spinnaker Point Drive. With the establishment of the UUD, City staff and PG&E representatives are collaborating on the development of the utility undergrounding project.

 Staff Report - Canal Underground Utility District

Presentation - Canal Underground Utility District

Recently Completed Projects:

Stop Sign Installation - Completed Fall 2022 

At the west leg of Bellam Blvd. and Catalina Blvd., DPW staff added Stop Signs to slow vehicular traffic and increase pedestrian and bicycle safety. 

Spinnaker Point Parking Modification- Completed Spring 2023

The parallel parking on the north side of Spinnaker Point Drive between Bahia Way and the crosswalk west of Portsmouth Cove were converted to angled parking by reconfiguring the roadway, narrowing the median, and realigning the sidewalk. The conversion resulted in 42 angled parking spaces, two of which are accessible parking spaces. Other improvements include new curb and gutter, widened sidewalk to enhance the pedestrian experience, and streetlights to improve visibility and safety of the area. This project added approximately 15 new parking spaces to help alleviate the community’s need for additional parking. In Fall 2024 the City plans to install a clean stormwater device called a bioretention area to treat storm water and complete the sidewalk improvements. To learn more about the Spinnaker Point Drive parking modifications project, visit the webpage here. 

Sidewalk Repair and Pavement Maintenance in Canal District - Completed Fall 2023

The Canal neighborhood's sidewalks are heavily used due to high pedestrian and bicycle activity, in addition to their age and proximity the San Rafael Canal. Public Works staff have identified the popular thoroughfares of Canal St. and Kerner Blvd. for sidewalk maintenance repairs, which was completed in Winter 2023.  

In addition to its sidewalks, the Canal neighborhood's streets experience significantly more traffic and fall into disrepair due to the higher concentration of vehicles per residence. In response, Public Works staff have selected several streets in the Canal neighborhood to be improved through the City's pavement management program in FY 2022/23. This project has continued into FY 2023/24 with Larkspur St., Louise St., Verdi St., and Alto St. scheduled for resurfacing in Fall 2023. 

See the map of planned sidewalk repair and pavement maintenance projects in the Canal district here. 

View the Public Meeting on Canal Area Improvements at the Link Below (Passcode: U5=@e#fj)

Close window