Third Street

Third Street Improvement Project

Project Contact

April Miller, PE
Assistant Public Works Director/City Engineer

415.485.3409
Shawn Graf, EIT, LSIT
Assistant Engineer

415.458.5347

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General News & Updates

About the Project

The City of San Rafael has begun the extensive 18-month Third Street Improvement Project to upgrade safety, infrastructure, and traffic needs of one of its most vital thoroughfares. Third Street is a critical component of San Rafael’s transportation network that serves tens of thousands of residents on a daily basis as they travel to work, school, recreation, and retail destinations. The City of San Rafael received an allocation from the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) through the Measure A program to rehabilitate Third Street in an effort to dramatically improve traffic flow and improve bicycle & pedestrian safety. The City also partnered with the San Rafael Sanitation District (SRSD) and Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) to address utility needs that will be required to support the San Rafael's infrastructure. 

The City completed a feasibility study for the Third Street corridor and based on funding, the City split the Third Street Improvement Project into two parts:

  1. The Third Street Rehabilitation project is funded through TAM Measure A/AA funds, state funded through Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program State Bill 1 (SB 1), and City funds.  The limits of the intersection work for the Rehabilitation Project are from Brooks Street to just east of Fourth Street. In addition, the water and sewer replacement and the pavement rehabilitation are within the entire limits of both the projects (see "Project Limits" section below).
  1. The Third Street Safety project is federally funded through Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), locally through Traffic mitigation and gas tax funds. The limits of the Safety Project are from Grand Avenue to Lindaro Street.

This work will improve a number of transportation needs that include a bicycle facility on Second Street, improved traffic lights, replacement of aging infrastructure, enhancement of pedestrian crossings, and pavement rehabilitation. While this work will be an inconvenience for the short term, this necessary rehabilitation will dramatically improve the quality of life for the community when completed.


Construction Impacts

During the 18-month rehabilitation project there will major impacts to some streets and businesses. The City asks that you are patient during this work and to know that your quality of life will be improved once the project is complete. These impacts will include:

  • Lane and street closures
  • Overnight street and truck noise
  • Traffic detours
  • Sidewalk closures
  • Daytime flag operators
  • Bike detours
  • Street and block access
  • Drive-way closures
  • Tree removal

Construction Schedule

Monday through Friday: 6:00 am - 6:00 pm


History

The City of San Rafael received an allocation from the Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) through the Measure A program to rehabilitate Third Street. The City completed a feasibility study for the corridor and based on funding, the City split the Third Street Project into two projects:

  1. The Third Street Rehabilitation projectis funded through TAM Measure A/AA funds and state funded through Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program State Bill 1 (SB 1).  The limits of the intersection work for the Rehabilitation Project are from Lindaro Street to just east of the Fourth Street intersection. In addition, the water and sewer replacement and the pavement rehabilitation are within the entire limits of both the projects.
  2. The Third Street Safety projectis federally funded through Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), locally through Traffic mitigation and gas tax funds. The limits of the Safety Project are from Grand Avenue to Lindaro Street.

Project Goals

The desperately needed work will not only improve the core utility infrastructure, it will also improve traffic, bicycle and pedestrian access. The project will:

  • Reduce traffic congestion throughout the downtown corridor
  • Improve safety for vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians
  • Rehabilitate pavement, fix uneven sidewalks, and upgrade curb ramps for accessibility
  • Upgrade the traffic signal infrastructure
  • Replace major water lines for both Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) and the and San Rafael Sanitation District (SRSD)'s aging infrastructure

Budget

Planning/Design $1,800,000 (Grant funded)
Construction $20,000,000 (Total with other Agencies Portions of Project, $12,500,000 Grant Funded)

Timeline

Base Mapping & Preliminary Design Winter 2020 – Summer 2020
Design and Environmental Summer 2020 – Fall 2021
Construction Bidding & Award Fall 2021 – Winter 2021
Construction Winter 2021 – Fall 2023

Watch a video about the project

Students at the Marin School of Environmental Leadership (SEL), a public school located within Terra Linda High School in the San Rafael City Schools district, created this video to inform the public about the Third Street Rehab project.

Frequently asked questions

The city has worked with residents along Second Street and the bicycle community to revise the original concept plan to utilize the entire right-of-way and reduce widths to provide parking. There will still be a net loss of 1-4 stalls between West Street and Shaver Street.

No. The Safety Project will narrow vehicle lane widths on Third Street to maintain the existing left turn pocket from westbound Third Street onto southbound Lindaro Street, while still reducing the crossing distance for pedestrians.

The Safety Project will convert the driveway on Third Street to Exit Only southbound to help improve safety for pedestrians and remove the backup from cars turning right into a narrow driveway.

Construction hours and temporary lane closures times are still be accessed. However both day and night work are anticipated.

For the majority of the project, no. However on Second Street between Hayes and Shaver Street there will be a minor change. Today 2nd Street eastbound shifts from 2 lanes to 3 lanes at Hayes Street. The project will move this addition of a 3rd lane one block to the east. Now 2nd Street will gain a 3rd lane at Shaver Street. See “Second Street Lane Adjustment”

Sidewalk replacement is limited to work around intersections and locations where elevations need to be modified to meet one of the project goals. In addition, the city has hired Precision Concrete Cutting has repaired tripping hazards where possible by using a cutting method to create ADA compliant slopes.

The City has chosen to install a separate 5-6 foot wide sidewalk and 8 foot Class IV protected cycle track between Shaver Street and West Street in order to increase the useable area for the public. A Class I multi-use path along a roadway has larger buffer requirements. The City would have to install a larger retaining wall to just create the 10 foot minimum paved area. Within the same available space, the separate facilities provide a 14 to 15 foot useable paved surface for both modes (bicyclists and pedestrians), where the Class I multi-use would only provide 10 to 11.5 foot paved area. See “Class IV and Class I Comparison

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