Mid-Week Links: Properly Pricing Parking

The head of Strong Towns describes the difference between a road and a street, and how bad design is sucking the life out of our cities.  Marin is blessed with strong towns, but unless we are good stewards of our forebears’ investments, we risk slowly becoming less a destination and more just suburbia.


The biggest news for Marin was the health-related resignation of County Supervisor Hal Brown, who represented Ross Valley on the Board since Barbara Boxer left for the House of Representatives in 1982.  The scramble for appointment has already begun, with a number of politicos, old and new, vying to be appointed by the Governor.  The IJ has a glowing retrospective.

  • Importing 60% of our workforce has its costs, namely $22,950 per year in local spending and 0.16 jobs per imported worker.  That’s according to a new report from Live Local Marin.
  • One way to get more workers to live in Marin is to build more housing.  Marin has taken a step towards this by adopting a plan to lower barriers to affordable housing development.  You can read the plan here. (PDF)
  • Governor Jerry Brown signed AB42 into law last week, allowing state parks to enter into operating agreements with private entities.  This applies most particularly to Samuel P. Taylor Park.
  • Riding the bus saves money, even in the ‘burbs.
  • Major media endorsements are in.  IJ has endorsed candidates for the councils of San Anselmo and Fairfax.  The Pacific Sun has endorsements for everything on the ballot.  So far, the two outlets agree.
  • Four election debates (San Anselmo, San Rafael, Corte Madera and Larkspur) are now online – you can check them out on our Election Coverage page.  Another Novato debate is up for October 17.

South Marin

  • A Tam Valley crossing guard injured himself saving a child from an inattentive SUV driver.  The community is taking a collection on his behalf.
  • Also in that busy burg, construction began on the Tennessee Valley Pathway, linking Tam Valley with existing multi-use paths.
  • Mill Valley will alter how it issues event permits for its downtown plaza, making them more lenient to encourage the plaza’s use as a vital space for the town.
  • Sausalito follows San Francisco in the parking app field, adopting a new smart phone application that allows users to see where spaces are open in real-time.
  • Marin City’s Gateway Shopping Center has been sold.
  • Off the Grid had a great start last Sunday in Larkspur, creating sufficient buzz to draw San Franciscans to dust off their cars and ferry passes to visit.
  • Tiburon’s library needs to expand, and in the process it could make the downtown a bit better, especially if it removes parking for an outdoor plaza between it and City Hall.

Central and Northern Marin

  • San Anselmo’s principal and beloved strip mall, Red Hill Shopping Center, is undergoing renovations, and tenants are uneasy.
  • Walk to School Day meant a healthy, happy “walking bus” in Novato.
  • Want to name San Rafael’s new baseball team?
  • The IJ profiles the races in Lagunitas and Nicasio, which bring a bit more politicking to West Marin.
  • The San Rafael Canal will be dredged in November for $1.4 million.
  • Someone wants to make part of Fourth Street a pedestrian mall.
  • San Rafael shot down a proposal for nine new townhomes in West End and sent a 67-unit development near the downtown Elk’s Lodge back to the drawing board. Neither were terribly transit-accessible.

The Greater Marin

  • Ongoing widening of 101 has yielded its first new lanes in Sonoma County.
  • Sadly, this probably won’t alleviate traffic for long.
  • One wonders how we might shift the funding priorities from roads to transit.
  • The City of Sonoma is installing new bike lanes, to much fanfare and controversy.
  • But bikes aren’t just for the civilian.  They’re also for war.
  • Los Angeles has released a manual on how to redesign roads to be livable streets again.
  • Affordable housing advocates want to keep parking minimums so cities can trade them for more affordable housing.  This, by the way, is a bad thing.
  • Governor Jerry Brown may have approved AB42, but he vetoed SB910, which would have instated a three-foot passing rule for cars passing bicyclists.

About David Edmondson
A native Marinite working in Washington, DC, I am fascinated by how one might apply smart-growth and urbanist thinking to the low-density towns of my home.

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