Pt. San Pedro Roadway: Glenwood Medians

Background

In 2002, concerns regarding the poor condition of the medians bordering the Glenwood subdevelopment resulted in a committee of the Glenwood HOA with Mark Lundin, Kevin Hagerty (President of GWHOA), Ray Shanahan (licensed landscape contractor) and Joe Caramucci. Plans were developed to beautify these medians. With the assistance of the City of San Rafael, a the formal conceptual master plan was developed. After community meetings, the community and the City of San Rafael approved the plan and it was implemented, with the Glenwood HOA contributing to the cost.

In 2011, a ballot was approved by residents along Pt. San Pedro Road to beautify all the medians on the roadway. It was determined that the Glenwood medians should be included in order to have a consistant “look” along the entire roadway. However, for various reasons including mis-communications, trees were omitted from the design plan for these two medians. By the time that issue was recognized and fully understood, the beautification project was well underway. Rather than impact the project at that time, the San Rafael Public Works Department agreed to address this issue after the remainder of the project was completed based on demonstrated support from the community. It was agreed that any trees added to these medians would not incur any additional costs to the residents.

Glenwood Medians Committee

In July 2013, representatives of the Pt. San Pedro Road Coalition, the Glenwood Homeowner’s Association and affected residents of Glenwood formed a committee and met with the San Rafael Public Works Director and the Pt. San Pedro Road Median Landscape Design Project architect. The purpose was to work out a reasonable solution addressing concerns by area residents that the landscape design of the Pt. San Pedro Road medians between Main Drive and Fire Station #55 was not consistent with tree planting on other medians along the Point San Pedro Road.

The committee’s goal was to generate a plan for trees to be planted on these two medians that:

  1. Was consistent with the general landscape design plan for all of the Pt. San Pedro Road medians,
  2. Was consistent with safety requirements providing clear views of vehicles entering and leaving side streets of Pt. San Pedro Road,
  3. Provided reasonable accommodation of bay views for those residents whose homes are located adjacent to Pt. San Pedro Road, and
  4. Provided accommodation of bay views for those traveling on Pt. San Pedro Road or walking adjacent to the roadway.

The committee developed a plan that it believed was a reasonable solution addressing these concerns.The plan included the installation of an additional eight strategically-placed  new trees  (four on the median between Main Drive and Knight Drive and  four on the median between Knight Drive and the Firehouse #55).

Click here to see the planting plan

Survey

The committee then sought community support for the proposal using an on-line web based survey. Members of the affected community were notified of the survey through communications from Point San Pedro Road Coalition, local homeowners associations and websites such as NextDoor Glenwood. Signs were also placed at the entrances to Point San Pedro Road at Knight Drive and Main Drive.

The survey was conducted from August 2 through August 16, 2013. Those participating in the survey were asked to review the group’s goals in developing the proposal and the proposal itself. They were then asked whether they supported the proposal to add additional trees, supported the proposal with reservations or did not support the proposal. There was also an opportunity to provide additional comments regarding their vote.

There were 154 people who participated in the survey. Of that number 111 (72.1%) voted to support the proposal, 26 (16.9%)  supported the proposal with some reservations and 17 (11%) opposed the proposal. The individuals who supported the proposal with reservations had concerns about the type of tree, or wanted more or fewer new trees. The comments accompanying a few of the “No” votes indicated they were only concerned about any additional costs to the community, of which there were to be none.

Results

New Median Trees

Based upon the results of the survey, the Public Works Director felt that there was significant demonstrated public support for the proposal and agreed to move forward with installing the new trees. Accordingly, eight new European Hornbeam trees (Carpinus Betulas Fastigiata) were planted on the two medians in mid-October, 2013. The cost of installing the trees came from available funds in the project budget. It is important to note that the trees will be trimmed as they mature so that the lowest branches will be high enough to insure that oncoming vehicle, bike and pedestrian views will be unobstructed and so that branches will not overlap the roadway at heights that would interfer with truck traffic.

Other Median Plants

The existing condition of the plants on the two medians between Main Drive and Firehouse #55 was also discussed.  The City staff has acknowledged that the plants on those two medians have not grown at the same rate as plants on other medians throughout the Point San Pedro Road. The City has been monitoring the condition of the plants and has taken, and will continue to take, a number of steps to improve the situation. Some of these steps include adjusting the irrigation levels, fertilizing the plants and using deer retardants to discourage deer from grazing. They are also prepared if necessary to replace some of plants that are not thriving with new ones.