Marin County is already home to many spectacular trails for recreational cyclists, hikers, and walkers, but there’s a new trail in the works for commuters—the kind who prefer spokes and sneakers to cars.
Designated as one of four communities nationwide to host a Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program, the county will receive $25 million in federal funds over the next four years to build a bicycle and pedestrian network aimed at significantly reducing car trips.
“We want to use the $25 million as leverage for the $100 million needed for a bicycle and pedestrian network that will connect schools, transit hubs, work and shopping centers, and communities,” says Kim Baenisch, executive director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition. The vision, says Baenisch, is to have 20 percent of all in-county trips made by foot or pedal by the year 2020. That would be a 9 percent increase from 2000, according to the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
In the next six months, the county will be determining how to proceed with the pilot project based on Federal Highway Administration guidelines.
“With high gas prices and people looking to stay fit, it’s exciting that Marin County has been selected [for] this pilot program. Bicycling and walking are excellent transportation alternatives, and we hope to show that we can get people out of their cars to create a healthier environment,” says Deb Hubsmith, Marin County Bicycle Coalition’s advocacy director.
To learn about public planning meetings regarding this project, call Marin County’s Department of Public Works at (415)499-6528.