Posted 10/31/15: Umbrella Group Monthly Meeting Notes from October 28, 2015

City/ Federation of Neighborhoods/Coalition of North San Rafael/San Pedro Road Coalition

The meeting was run by Mayor Gary Phillips and attended by Councilmembers Kate Colin and John Gamblin and City Manager Jim Shutz.

Client Response Management Software – proposed by the Coalition of North San Rafael Neighborhoods: Rebecca Woodbury, SR. Management Analyst, and Vinh Pham, Sr. Network Administrator, addressed the topic. Rebecca gave an overview of work being done to improve communication with the public. A wishlist has been compiled and the next step is a procurement process with web design services that will begin early next year. The idea is to enable one person to be able to see the whole system, and to enable staff to make a response, though not necessarily a solution, within 24 hours. The system will allow for analysis of data collected. Testing will need to be done as the new system starts up.

Highway 101 Central San Rafael exit traffic and Maintenance – proposed by by the Coalition of North San Rafael Neighborhoods: Concern was expressed about the appearance of the exit area from the highway and the need to schedule regular maintenance after cleanup. Dean Allison, Director of Public Works, explained that the areas involved are Cal Trans property. Mr. Allison promised that his department would be in contact with Cal Trans in an effort to improve these gateways to the City.

Illegal Dumping Issue – proposed by Councilmember Colin: People from Gerstle Park have been in contact with concerns about the dumping of old mattresses and other household items that are increasingly being left on the streets in Gerstle Park. Dean Allison said that this is a big issue for DPW in several areas, including Gerstle Park, the Canal, and Lincoln. The City needs to develop a prevention plan. Cory of Volunteer Services has made some attempts, but thus far they have not had much impact. Councilperson Colin suggested that an educational program might help. City Manager Jim Shutz suggested that work needs to be done with both tenants and landlords in the area. The Mayor said that the City would work with Gerstle Park on such a program. Mr. Shutz and the Mayor both stated that there will be discussion with the trash collectors to see if programs such as free pick up days for large objects could be developed to help with the problem.

Point San Pedro Road Speeds – proposed by Mayor Gary Phillips: The Mayor explained that after several meetings with residents in the PSPR corridor, it has been decided that the speed limit will not be raised at this point, but there will be an effort to use traffic calming measures such as lighted cross walks before the speed limit is raised. At this point, because of state law, the current speed limit cannot be enforced with radar because the mandated recently-completed speed study indicates that the speed should be 40 mph, not the current 35 mph. Dean Allison pointed out that people who work, volunteer or have children at San Pedro School are having difficulties safely exiting the school property. He feels that speed enforcement is important, but other measures are needed as well. It was suggested that a traffic light that could be triggered from the school property would help with school exiting. Mr. Allison thought that a traffic signal could help, but the cost of such a light is $200,000 to $250,000.

Announcements: Rebbcca Woodbridge announced that the City has hired a consultant to study downtown parking. Starting in December the City will hold “pop-up workshops” taking discussion of parking issues to places there there a lot of people. The City would like people to help the City learn about people’s parking experiences downtown. A brief two-minute online survey is being conducted through An alternate means of participation is a text-based survey. To use this method, call 415-300-2723 and provide your answer to the question “How do you feel about parking in Downtown San Rafael?” (A) It’s Great (B) It’s Okay (C) Needs Improvement. Both surveys are open until December 31, 2015. [More information on the parking study can be found on the city website at] Key findings of the survey will guide the ongoing Downtown San Rafael Parking/Wayfinding Study.