San Rafael’s 2001 Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan and Marin County’s 2008 Unincorporated Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan identify Point San Pedro Road as a major bike route for traveling from Downtown San Rafael to and through China Camp State Park. Those bicycle plans suggest the preferred bicycle lane designation for Point San Pedro Road should be Class II. A Class II bicycle lane is one which is exclusively reserved for the bicyclist; no vehicular parking is allowed. The City and County Plan does allow for situations where there are extenuating circumstances that the Bicycle Lane be designated Class III. A Class III bicycle lane does allow vehicle parking. View this Bikeway Exhibit from the Marin County Plan for a visual description of Class II and Class III bike lanes.
Point San Pedro Road includes segments that are in City and County jurisdictions. For the 2014 road repaving project, the City entered into an agreement with the County for the County to manage the repaving work in the City sections of the roadway. The roadway paving project included the designation and striping of bicycle lanes. In areas of the roadway under County jurisdiction, the County made the determination as whether a Class II or Class III bicycle lane was appropriate. The County deferred to the City to make that decision in areas under the City’s jurisdiction.
Once the designation decisions was made, the County directed its repaving contractor to perform the striping of the appropriate bike lane. However, there are bicycle lane inconsistency issues that still need to be resolved. For example, the County has elected to paint its Class II curbs red, while the City would prefer to use No Parking signs. This inconsistency in how the County and City handle the pavement marking and signage of bicycle lanes is an issue that Roadway Committee’s Traffic Management Subcommittee is currently exploring.
Bike Lane Designation in the Vicinity of the Loch Lomond Marina Development
The Roadway Committee was instrumental in helping negotiate a compromise agreement between the City, Loch Lomond Homeowners Association and the Marin Bicycle Coalition that was approved by the San Rafael City Council in August 2014.
As part of the Loch Lomond Marina Development approval process, the City had agreed to delay the implementation of a Class II bicycle lane on Point San Pedro Road in front of the development until such time as the development was completed and fully occupied and a parking survey could be taken to determine whether parking on the development site was adequate to handle the demand. Loch Lomond residents were concerned that if on-site parking was not adequate, and parking was not available on Point San Pedro Road, overflow parking would occur in their neighborhoods.
City staff maintained that the temporary restriction of the Class II bicycle lane only applied to the curbside parking directly in front of the development and not the curbside of the street across from the development and directly in front of the Loch Lomond residential neighborhood. The Loch Lomond Homeowners Association was concerned that if that section of the Roadway was formally designated as a Class II Bicycle lane then, politically, it would be difficult to get the lane re-designated as Class III should it be determined that that area was needed for overflow parking for the Marina. The Marin Bicycle Coalition insisted that Class II bicycle lane be installed on both sides of the street in that area.
After much discussion between the affected groups, a compromise was reached regarding the bicycle lane on the north side of the Point San Pedro Road between Bayview Drive and Manderly Road. The City would temporary designate that section of the roadway as a Class III bicycle lane but would also post No Parking signs. The Class III bicycle lane would thus function as a Class II lane. However, permission could be requested to cover the No Parking signs during special events at the San Pedro School.
At its meeting in August 2014, the San Rafael City Council approved temporary designation of Class III bicycle lanes on the both side of the street in front of Loch Lomond neighborhood between San Pedro School and Beach Drive and the installation of No Parking Signs on the north side of the street.