Canal Neighborhood Improvements


The City of San Rafael is actively engaged in several Public Works 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.

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.

Sidewalk Repair and Pavement Maintenance in Canal District

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 extensive sidewalk repair for the Fiscal Year 2022/23.

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. To 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.

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

Stop Sign Installation

At the west leg of Bellam Blvd. and Catalina Blvd., DPW staff will erect Stop Signs to slow vehicular traffic and increase pedestrian and bicycle safety. Crews will erect Stop Signs in October 2022.

See the map of planned Stop Signs installation here.

Pickleweed 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.

Spinnaker Point Parking Modification

To help alleviate the community’s need for additional parking, modifications will be made along the north side of Spinnaker Point Drive near the Albert J Boro Community Center. The sidewalk will be realigned and angled parking will be installed. This will add approximately 20 new parking spaces for nearby residents.

To learn more about the Spinnaker Point Drive parking modifications project, visit the webpage here.

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.

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