Scenic pathway eyed for upgrade 

Plans are in the early stages to revamp the Marina Green trail, a scenic stretch shared by runners, walkers, cyclists and bicycle tours that currently offers no lane assignments, uneven pavement and obstructions.

“There’s a lot of space, but it can be confusing,” said walker Monica Feldman, a Marin County resident who said she frequents the trail along Marina Boulevard between Lyon and Buchanan streets.

City officials said they want to create a pathway more like the well-marked trail that runs along nearby Crissy Field, which includes two-direction lanes for bicyclists and a third lane for pedestrians.

Initial plans include intersection improvements, resurfacing, new lane striping and signage, and the removal and upgrade of hazardous posts. The 12-foot-wide bicycle paths would be physically separated from traffic and have distinctive colors or striping to boost visibility at intersections.

The proposal for safety upgrades comes as the popularity of the Marina trail, which is part of the region’s 500-mile Bay Trail, continues to surge.

Between 2006 and ’09, the trail spanning The City’s waterfront saw a 115.8 percent increase in commuter cycling, according to the Department of Public Works grant application submitted to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

But some residents are not certain the Marina Green trail, already one of the more scenic San Francisco pathways, needs the work.

“I don’t think it’s broken,” said San Franciscan Laurie Gondreau, an Internet marketing mentor. “They just want to glamorize it.”

Though it’s certainly already a beautiful strip of The City, improving the trail would make it “safer and more comfortable for the thousands of people who use it every day,” said Andy Thornley, program director for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

The project is estimated to cost $1.57 million, with funding coming from local and regional sources, according to Public Works, one of several city departments involved.

Supervisor Michaela-Alioto Pier, whose district includes the trail, supports the plan and said she will seek community input before moving forward. Construction could span five months in 2012.

Improvement plans

Proposed $1.57 million improvements to Marina Green trail:

  • Remove metal and wooden bollards and/or replace with flexible bollards
  • Redesign intersections by painting crosswalk ladders and stop and slow markings on pathway to minimize conflicts or potential collisions
  • Improve ADA access by widening curb cuts and upgrading existing curb ramps
  • Widen and pave several locations
  • Relocate traffic signs, signal lights and streetlights as necessary
  • Remove six trees (nonhistorical) and concrete work adjacent to Fort Mason
  • Strip pathway
  • Install directional signage

Source: Department of Public Works

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