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To: Marin County Department of Public Works

To: Marin County Department of Public Works
Attn:  Mr. John Neville and Mr. Craig Tackleberry

Dear John and Craig,

I appreciate speaking with you regarding the pending road work on Appleberry Drive in Marinwood.

I believe that the comment period of the notice ends this week.

Personally, I would have preferred notices to be mailed to the neighborhood and copied to the Marinwood CSD offices, as I think that is more effective than posting paper on telephone poles.

The CSD, Marinwood Association, and the local neighbors have email lists and those are probably more effective outlets for receiving community feedback.

I am Cc’ing this to the Community so they are aware of the pending work and can add anything I have missed.

For the record, here is a summary of comments/concerns I have as a resident on the street, along with some I have heard from neighbors:

__ While Appleberry is a low-volume street, it is an exit/entry path to/from Lucas Valley Road.  It is also used as a short cut between Miller Creek Rd. and Lucas Valley Rd.  There are cars that drive too fast on the street and create a safety hazard.  Because there is very minimal central striping, traffic controls are mostly absent.  In my opinion, any efforts to slow down traffic would be helpful.  I understand that the old and faded School Crossing markings will be removed and changes made to the crosswalks.  While they may be outdated and ineffective, I hope DPW can implement some other more effective safety controls.

__ From our phone calls, I understand that your observations during peak hours at the existing pedestrian crossings have not yielded a concern about safety, that statistically there has not been a significant number of accidents, and that unused, older pedestrian markings may give pedestrians a false sense of security.  That notwithstanding, as a parent who has witnessed traffic on the street, I am still concerned about the safety of pedestrians in the area.  One accident is one too many.

__ The locations of most concern are at cross streets.  The intersection of Danberry and Lucas Valley Road has no Yield nor Stop sign and it would be helpful to have one or the other there.  I have witnessed cars making that turn without slowing down.

__ The intersection of Sequeira/Appleberry invites cars to cut the corner too quickly.  Some type of traffic calming measure at that point would be helpful.  I personally do not cross at that intersection for that reason and feel it is safer to cross midblock.

__ While the Waldorf School may not have concerns about Appleberry, since it is known as a commuter school and utilizes Idylberry for drop-off, the local residents still use the intersection for pedestrian access to the soccer fields, daily dog walkers, runners, and Dixie School bus stops.  It is one of only four entries/exits into all the “Berry” streets.  I believe each of those locations should be given equal attention as far as traffic controls.

__ The East end of Appleberry, which turns 90 degrees to/from Cedarberry, is also a concern.  Please see the attached photo. The Street widens and cars often cross the double yellow lines.   Parking is not clear in the widened area and sometimes cars are parked parallel and other times perpendicular.  The sidewalk, along the widened side, has a significant raised portion and this end of the street also receives significant drainage flow during heavy storms.  All of these issues should be studied and addressed.

__ The West end of Appleberry at Huckleberry is also an intersection that cars take quickly due to the speed change to and from Lucas Valley Road. Given that Appleberry Drive is a significant bike path between CSA 13 and Miller Creek Middle School, I am concerned that children passing that intersection and trying to get onto the County Farm pedestrian paths are at risk.  I watch groups of kids before and after school riding down the middle of Appleberry Drive and, while they are generally safe to do so there, the intersections are simply not safe enough.

__  A related note is graffiti on street signs.  Please see the attached photo.  I’m sure you are aware of the “Broken Window” theory which states that uncorrected vandalism just begets more vandalism.  This street sign was tagged at least five years ago and I think it’s time the County replaced it.  Additionally, the stop sign at the intersection of Cedarberry and Miller Creek Rd. (near the East end of Appleberry) also has graffiti.  Others may have been tagged that I am not aware of.

__  On a similar note, the sidewalks are getting harder to navigate in some places due to lack of maintenance and vegetation overgrowth.  Attached are some photos on Appleberry where this is a particular problem but others exist in Marinwood.  It would be helpful if DPW would clarify with residents whose responsibility it is to address these problem spots.  As far as I know, DPW has not engaged our community on the issue, but we have a senior population as well as disabled individuals who depend on accessible sidewalks and forcing them onto the street is not acceptable.

__  Finally, I understand that curb cuts will be installed at intersections relative to the Appleberry Drive work.  While I understand that the County has limited funds to make ADA upgrades, the same is true of the owners of private commercial properties which the County, in turn, requires those owners to upgrade.  As a general matter of policy, I hope the County continues to address the accessibility needs of the public and, in this particular case, provides more accessible and better maintained sidewalks for Marinwood.

Thank you for your consideration of this.

Bill Hansell
Marinwood CSD Board of Directors

architecture collaborative

Bill Hansell, Design Principal

667 Appleberry Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903-1203
t. 415-378-9064 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 415-378-9064 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
e. bill@hanselldesign.com

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