San Anselmo attempts to ease the Hub’s nightmare traffic with renovation ideas

In a two-hour Zoom webinar on Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m., the Transportation Study Multimodal Concept was introduced with the goal of improving traffic flow in the Hub, a major crossroads in Ross Valley which connects Sir Francis Drake Blvd. and Miracle Mile/Center Boulevard.

The webinar, hosted by Sean Condry (Public Works Director of San Anselmo), Scott Schneider (Assistant Public Works Director of San Anselmo), Brian Colbert (San Anselmo Council member), David Parisi (of Parisi Transportation Consulting), Jen Shriber (Consultant at Parisi Transportation Consulting), and Maclean Grosel (consultant at Parisi Transportation Consulting) began as a presentation, and opened the floor to public speakers for the second half of the meeting. 

The Hub is the most congested intersection in Marin County with over 65,000 cars passing through per day, and drivers often have to wait up to three minutes at its red lights. The Transportation Authority of Marin for San Anselmo awarded San Anselmo $350,000 grant to undertake a planning study to provide an alternative analysis of potential congestion relief and multimodal solutions. These plans open possibilities of additional lanes, a floating roundabout, grade separation between specific movements, and rerouting.

“Over the years there have been congestion issues resulting in improvement requests for the Hub and that is why we are here tonight,” Colbert said.

Many of the ideas on the table were not exclusive to cars, and instead focused on more sustainable transportation. There was talk of adding a transit lane exclusively for buses and ways to create safer bike routes and crossing methods for pedestrians. In an attempt to engage with the public throughout the presentation, the webinar had sporadic polls to receive input on individuals’ day-to-day experiences with the Hub. 

While some citizens who attended the webinar were in favor of these new possibilities, others were hesitant. Some spoke of financial concerns (a budget is to be determined once the town’s plans have been set for renovations), others argued that this money could be going towards something ‘more important’, and some expressed that the construction could disrupt downtown San Anselmo and the Hub’s traffic congestion. No matter the individual’s opinion on the fate of the Hub’s renovations, nearly every speaker praised the webinar saying that it was a spectacular and well-explained presentation.

“[Regarding a possible flyway] I don’t think we should have anything like an embarcadero freeway built across the gateway to West Marin,” said Ann Politzer, a webinar attendee.

    This was only the second meeting for this planning study, with the first one back in May 2021, and the council plans to continue meeting in the future. San Anselmo planners are continuing to brainstorm possible executions of the Hub improvements with their engineering consultants, and intend to include the community in the decisions.