Marin County group to propose alternative Highway 101 plan


In Marin County and plenty of others, you can practically set your watch to the traffic jams. For instance, the backup at Sir Francis Drake Boulevard onto Highway 101 south, traffic slows due to cars getting on and off of the freeway.

A proposal by the Transportation Authority of Marin to separate traffic at the Corte-Madera stretch of Highway 101 may sound simple, but the $143 million plan has generated anything but a simple response.

"I know a good idea when I see one, and I know a bad idea when I see one," resident Steve Cardellini said.

Cardellini is with a citizens group that calls itself Marin Deserves Better.

After 100 hours of personal time, he and his group have exerted enough clout to present their own plans at a hearing Monday night.

Project manager Bill Whitney says it's all part of a design process that began in 2006. He adds that there are more than ten plans, but they looked a multiple options and screened them down to this proposed solution.

Opponents object to three key elements -- the dismantling of a pedestrian walkway over Hwy 101, a 33-foot-high flyover above the freeway that separates traffic, plus multiple on and offramps.

"I looked at it and thought it looks like something you would find in downtown Los Angeles," Cardellini said.

The citizen plan keeps traffic at ground level, preserves views and esthetics. Cardellini insists it will cost less than the project as proposed.

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