Things are starting to move in Novato, six weeks after the tragic crash that killed Hailey Ratliff. A memorial walk two weeks ago saw hundreds turn out, with city officials and residents expressing support for safer streets. Elisabeth Thomas-Matej joined my call for protected bike lanes in the city while a neighborhood group is investigating ways to lobby for safer streets. And, now that the driver who killed Hailey was cleared of wrongdoing, the Ratliff family has decided to sue Novato for negligence. The suit argues that poor road design, high speeds, and untrimmed vegetation all contributed to the tragedy.
Only time will tell if this movement is permanent. For the sake of the city and its people, I hope it is.
Marin Greater and Lesser
- Marin County has the second-lowest number of people commuting alone to work in the Bay Area, bested only by San Francisco itself. Though it's still somewhat high at 65.2 percent, fully 19 percent don't drive, take transit, or carpool at all, and that probably means a lot of walking and bicycling. (CoCo Times)
- Santa Rosa faces a tough decision with its Coddingtown SMART rail crossing. It can spend $1.7 million for a pedestrian overpass, or close one at-grade crossing so state regulators would allow the city to open a new at-grade crossing here. (PD)
- Parklets could come to Fairfax, that is if the concept passes through all the governmental hoops alterations to parking usually have to jump through. (Patch)
- The Italian Street Painting Festival is back! After a hiatus and concerns it wouldn't return, organizers received enough seed money to revive San Rafael's biggest street festival of the year for next summer. (Patch)
- Sprawl in Tiburon is being subsidized by Marin and the costs are skyrocketing. A court ordered the county to pay half the cost of a housing development's EIR, and the cost has now reached $468,000. (IJ)
- Larkspur has the worst roads in the Bay Area. While not much of a problem for drivers, bicyclists have a tough time navigating the cracked and buckled pavement. (Bay Citizen)
- Marin's mountain biking history and culture is on display at the SFO gallery, so stop by next time you pass through. If you really want your fix, don't forget that we have an express bus; for a $40 round-trip, it's actually not much more than a high-class theater. (Pacific Sun)
- A fighter pilot is trained to keep watch for any movement and to use his or her eyes to maximum effect. Drivers and cyclists, who aren't trained in the fine art of attention, should be. An RAF pilot has some tips for how to detect cyclists if you're a driver, and how to avoid getting missed if you're a cyclist. (London Cyclist)
- And...: Caltrans hit with record fine for breaking water quality rules in 101 construction. (PD) ... A new Boston rail station is being funded by New Balance. (Archpaper) Could Fireman's Fund do the same for SMART in Novato? ... Fare hikes and service cuts are coming to Santa Rosa's CityBus. (PD) ... Marin Transit's Muir Woods Shuttle awarded for excellence. (NBBJ) ... Corte Madera's long-awaited park cafe has finally opened. (IJ)
One person died and two others were injured this week.
- Richard Giacomini drowned after crashing his truck into a West Marin reservoir this week. The well-known rancher was 71. (IJ)
- Joe Kwai Lee, the driver accused of killing Alvine Heese with his car last week, has plead not guilty in Santa Rosa court. He was driving to a doctor's appointment on a suspended license. (PD)
- A woman was injured by a driver backing out of their driveway in Santa Rosa. (PD) ... A motorcyclist injured himself by crashing his bike in Sonoma County. He suffered only minor injuries. (PD)