San Rafael, CA - The County of Marin is offering two public workshops to showcase preliminary concepts for upgrades to Civic Center Drive corridor near the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael.
Keeping the Civic Center’s National Historic Landmark status in mind, the County is committed to making improvements that are consistent with architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision for the Civic Center area.
The two public workshops on the topic are:
• 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, Manzanita Room, Marin Center Exhibit Hall, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael
• 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, Board of Supervisors chambers, Room 330, Marin Civic Center Administration Building, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael
The infrastructure improvements have been developing at the conceptual level for several years, and funding was approved by the Board of Supervisors in July 2012. The County is striving to have the project completed in time for the opening of the SMART Civic Center Station in early 2016. The project also will provide much improved accessibility for people with disabilities and pedestrian safety for patrons of the Marin Center and the Farmers Market.
Department of Public Works engineers are working on the design of roadway improvements along Civic Center Drive between the main Civic Center Administration Building and Merrydale Avenue to the north. Upgrades include transit stops and bike/pedestrian pathways to better serve visitors and employees of major businesses linked to Civic Center Drive and provide seamless connectivity for north-south travel in the area.
“It’s been a pleasure bringing it to this point,” said District 1 Supervisor Susan Adams, in whose jurisdiction the improvements would be made. “I’m looking forward to hearing from the community. What better time could there be for this than on the 50th anniversary of the Marin Civic Center?”
The Board of Supervisors approved a contract with Harris & Associates in January 2013 to develop preliminary plans for the project. During the past eight months, County staff has collaborated with a Board subcommittee, various County departments, the City of San Rafael, SMART, Marin Transit and the Agricultural Institute of Marin. After initial transportation and accessibility improvements are completed, so-called gateway improvements (landscaping, lighting and signage) are also contemplated for the corridor to create a sense of welcoming for the northern entrance to the Civic Center campus.
In addition to the public workshops, two more public meetings are scheduled on the topic. A joint meeting of the Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center Conservancy and Cultural Services Commission is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Friends of Marin Center Conference Room, and a study session with the San Rafael City Council is tentatively planned for late October (details to be announced by the city). Refined plans that incorporate feedback will be presented to the public in mid-November, and the final concept plan will be presented to the Board of Supervisors for approval in mid-December.