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Third and Hetherton Intersection Improvements

The City has received grant funding through the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), as administered through Caltrans, to make improvements to the intersection of Third Street and Hetherton Street. Both streets are major arterials and serve as critical corridors with connections to the US 101 southbound on- and off-ramps, Downtown San Rafael, West Marin communities, schools, and shopping centers. Located on the southwest corner of the intersection is the Bettini Transit Center, which serves more than 9,000 people per day. During the peak hours, the intersection handles 3,500 vehicles and 175 pedestrians per hour.

The City previously installed accessible curb ramps, high visibility crosswalk striping, and programmed the traffic signals to include Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs) to give pedestrians a head start before the traffic light turns green.

The proposed improvements include additional street lighting, new traffic signal poles, installation of wayfinding pavement markings to direct vehicles to the freeway, creation of a new crosswalk on the east leg of the intersection, and removal of the existing crosswalk on the south leg as shown in the images below.


3rd-Hetherton Existing


3rd-Hetherton Proposed


The City anticipates advertising the project in January/February 2020 to solicit construction bids with construction planned to begin in late Spring 2020.

The estimated costs of the proposed project is $500,000, of which approximately half will be subsidized with a federal grant and the City contributing the remaining half.

Adding a second southbound right-turn lane from Hetherton Street onto Third Street would potentially increase the risk of pedestrian-vehicle conflicts in the crosswalk on the west leg of this already very congested intersection. To ensure the maximum safety of pedestrians, the City does not recommend installation of a second right-turn lane for southbound Hetherton Street traffic.

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