Pt. San Pedro Roadway: Median Maintenance

Background

After starting as a committee of the Coalition, the Medians Committee separated from the Coalition to independently pursue the goal of upgrading and renovating the medians along Pt. San Pedro Road. After a lengthy effort to define what needed to be done and the expected costs, a ballot was issued in 2011 to all property owners iin the vicinity of the roadway. This ballot called for the formation of a Special Assessment District that would levy a tax on those property owners to cover the renovation and maintenance of the medians. The ballot passed with a substantial margin and the City of San Rafael took on the total responsibility for this project and the on-going median maintenance (the roadway is partially in the City’s jurisdiction and partly in County jurisdiction). The tax is added to the property tax bill each year. After the passage of the Special Assessment District, the Medians Committee was reformed under the Coalition where it now operates as a sub-committee of the Roadway Committee.

A number of questions were raised at the time of the balloting in 2011 to approve the creation of the Special Assessment District. Many of these questions are covered in the Frequently Asked Questions page. For those interested in the details of the engineering plans, they are available in the Engineer’s Formation Report Fiscal Year 2011/2012.

The project work started in August 2012 with the removal of existing trees and vegetation. The project was expected to take about 100 working days. However, there were delays due to various factors, including unexpected locations of underground utilities, holiday season, weather and others. The project was completed mid-2013 and is now in on-going maintenance mode. The contractor who won the contract for the medians construction work had the contract for the first-year’s maintenance and the responsibility under contract to correct any problems that appear in the first year.

In early 2014, the City San Rafael Public Works Department competitively bid out the median maintenance contract. In April that contract was awarded to Foster-Kroeger. In July 2014, the City of San Rafael went to the City Council and the Council approved the Engineer’s Annual Levy Report for the Point San Pedro Road Median Landscape Assessment District for FY2013-14. The Report included a summary of all Assessment District money collected and a report on project expenditures. The Report also included a recommendation from City staff that the amount of the District Assessment not be raised, as is permitted for the coming year.

Recent Developments

The Roadway Committee’s Median Maintenance Subcommittee has been meeting regularly with City staff to review conditions of the medians and to discuss opportunities for making needed improvements to the median planting.

At its meeting on September 5, 2014, members of the Median Maintenance Subcommittee met with City Staff and received the following information pertaining to the San Pedro Road median landscaping:

  1. The growth of plants on most of the medians are proceeding as planned.
  2. Most plants are receiving adequate water from the underground irrigation system. The City and its maintenance contractor, Foster-Kroeger, are monitoring the watering situation.
  3. Recent soil testing results show that in areas where there are plant growth problems, the use of various types of fertilizers will greatly improve soil condition, and thus the growth of the plants.  This is especially true of the medians in front of Glenwood.
  4. Some of the plants, especially the new trees on the Glenwood medians are having their growth impeded because the dust thrown on their leaves from the street sweepers who clean that part of the road on a daily basis.
  5. Fertilization requires overhead water and because of the drought situation, fertilization cannot occur until sometime this fall when hopefully we get some rain. Once we do get rain, Forster- Kroeger will mobilize and get the fertilization done.
  6. New and replacement plants are scheduled to be planted in January and February of next year after the fertilization has been done and there is adequate rain to help the plants with their initial growth.
  7. The new plants will be chosen by City staff in consultation with the Roadway Committee from a list of those existing median plants that are thriving.
  8. Foster-Kroeger is scheduled to trim the ficus plants on the wall between Beach and Main Drive on Saturday, September 20.
  9. Foster- Kroeger is scheduled to trim back the grass plants on the medians in November.
  10. The City is continuing to monitor the drought conditions and related water restrictions. City staff will consult with Roadway Committee on strategies to address watering restrictions should it become necessary.

The Roadway Committee will provide additional updates to residents as information becomes available.