CA: San Anselmo seeks funds for Hub intersection upgrades

April 9, 2024
The Town Council voted unanimously in favor of two resolutions to seek a prospective funding plan to redesign the intersection and add a mural and public art installation.

Apr. 5—San Anselmo is pursuing improvements to the Hub — Marin's busiest transit intersection — ranging from beautification efforts to a new design.

The Town Council voted unanimously March 26 in favor of two resolutions to seek a prospective funding plan to redesign the intersection and add a mural and public art installation.

The Hub — the intersection of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Center Boulevard and Red Hill Avenue — serves as a central transportation crossroads linking the eastern and western parts of the county. It is also a busy transfer point for Golden Gate Transit bus lines.

Officials estimate the intersection accommodates more than 65,000 vehicles each day. Delays are common and pedestrians or bicyclists have found it difficult to navigate, according to town staff.

The town was contacted by Sen. Alex Padilla's office to gauge its interest in pursuing federal transportation funds through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which authorizes transportation projects from 2022-2026.

With just days to submit the request and no idea how much money might be granted, Public Works Director Sean Condry called the request a "hail Mary."

"All the nuts and bolts are to be determined," Condry said.

He urged action by the council to improve the area for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. He said the project might end up being regional, with potential support from county or state transit agencies in order to succeed.

"The Hub is a major crossroads in San Anselmo," he said. "It is a very complex intersection."

In 2019, the Transportation Authority of Marin provided $309,000 in federal funds to study the Hub and analyze alternatives to reduce congestion and improve safety, a staff report said.

Parisi Transportation Consulting was selected in 2020 to provide design ideas for improvement. The three ideas include a T-intersection with displaced left turn; a roundabout; or a pedestrian and bicycle flyover.

The request to Padilla's office will plan for a project cost of between $3 million and $10 million. The request will call for conceptual design or a complete design and environmental review for the three concepts.

Any potential federal funding will likely require a 20% local match. Funding for the local match could be spread over several fiscal years, a staff report said.

"I think this is a great opportunity," said Councilmember Brian Colbert.

The two-pronged art project would install historic photographs on the blank concrete stanchions and a mural on concrete bus shelter benches. The site has two covered concrete bus shelters, on the east and west sides of the intersection. The stanchions will feature the images and the benches will be painted in the mural.

The abstract mural is in orange, green, yellow, brown and black. It includes images such as Mount Tamalpais; a dark-eyed junco, a common bird of the Mount Tamalpais watershed; a barn owl atop the San Anselmo town tower; an Earth and moon; a deer; a steelhead smolt; the Star Wars character Yoda; and the Pacific Ocean.

The town Arts Commission selected the photographs, which are part of the San Anselmo Historical Museum's collection.

Town Recreation Manager Mattie O'Grady said there were 23 submissions for the project. A father-son duo, Wyatt Hersey of Santa Cruz and John Hersey of San Anselmo, were selected, O'Grady said.

"This is very exciting for San Anselmo," she said. "They just want to beautify and enliven the space and make it kind of a gateway to San Anselmo."

The cost estimate for the project is $9,900, fully funded by the Arts Commission. The cost includes $7,600 for the benches, $1,500 for the stanchions and $800 for the request for proposals, according to a staff report. The project is tentatively scheduled to begin in early May.

Councilmember Tarrell Kullaway said the images or art should include an acknowledgement of Native people who lived in the area. She requested that it be added to the resolution.

Councilmember Steve Burdo said "the art is great."

"I am a big fan of this," he said. "I look forward to seeing it."


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