February 5, 2018
February 5, 2018
By: Mark Prado
Money generated by a new state gas tax is becoming available to Marin municipalities to fund road improvement projects throughout the county.
The California Transportation Commission has adopted the final list of cities eligible to receive Local Streets and Roads Program funding for this fiscal year, bringing eligible municipalities to 479 cities and all 58 counties throughout California.
The approval of a state gas tax increase by the Legislature last April will bring $14 million a year to Marin for local roads, bus transit and the possibility of more funds for commuter rail and highway work. The funding — via Senate Bill 1 — dedicates about $1.5 billion a year across the state.
“We have programmed the money and now cities are eligible for it,” said Amy MacPherson, spokeswoman for the California Transportation Commission, after it approved the final list last week. “The money has been set aside and now it’s up to the cities to take the steps to apply for it.”
There are more than 75 proposed projects in Marin, including:
- Belvedere: Road work on Bayview Avenue from Marin to Laurel avenues.
- Corte Madera: Widening Casa Buena Drive to add bicycle lanes and new sidewalk to provide pedestrian access.
- Fairfax: Road work on Vanni Lane between Ridgeway and Chester avenues.
- Larkspur: Repaving streets in the Palm Hill and Larkspur Marina neighborhoods.
- Mill Valley: Resurfacing Janes Street from Molino to Montford avenues.
- Novato: Improve pedestrian and bicycle access to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit San Marin and Hamilton stations.
- Ross: Road work on Wellington, Fallen Leaf, Bolinas, Walnut and Olive avenues.
- San Anselmo: Work on San Francisco Boulevard from Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to its end.
- San Rafael: New asphalt on Smith Ranch Road in the area underneath the freeway and a short stretch of Smith Ranch Road.
- Sausalito: Improvements to Turney Street between Bridgeway and the Turney Street boat ramp.
- Tiburon: Pavement overlay of Las Lomas Lane from Mar West to its end.
- County: Road rehabilitation of Point Reyes-Petaluma Road from Platform Bridge Road to Highway 1.
“SB 1 will play an important part in the county’s road improvement program, which is one of the county’s top priorities,” said Julian Kaelon, spokesman for the county’s Department of Public Works.
For the 2017-18 fiscal year, the county of Marin expects to receive $1.38 million from the new gas tax. Once the gas tax fully ramps up in about two years, the county expects to see approximately $4.1 million coming each year, Kaelon said.
“That’s a considerable step in the right direction when you consider that the backlog of work for county-maintained roads is $190 million,” Kaelon said. “The infusion of SB 1 funds will certainly help improve the condition and safety of our roadways at a rate that we simply could not do alone. The new funds will allow us to address priority projects earlier than we normally could, which will save us from needing to do larger and more expensive repairs in the long run.”
The gas tax hike went into place Nov. 1 when drivers in Marin and throughout the state started paying another 12 cents per gallon. With the additional 12 cents, the gas tax rose to 30 cents.
“The Local Partnership Program is designed to help cities and counties who have committed their own local funds for transportation improvements within their own communities,” said Fran Inman, transportation commission vice chairwoman.