Jul 13

Marin Headlands/Fort Baker Transportation Plan

* Meeting July 18
* Comment period ends August 13

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) has completed a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) for the Marin Headlands and Fort Baker Transportation Management Plan in Marin County. It has important implications for mountain bikers. The purpose of the project is to �provide improved access to and within the Marin Headlands for a variety of users�� There are a few improvements in bike access, but the most significant changes do not allow mountain bike access. One critical destination point will be closed to bikes under the preferred alternative.
There will be a public meeting to receive comments on the Draft EIS on Wednesday, July 18, at the Bay Model Visitor Center, 2100 Bridgeway, in Sausalito. The meeting will consist of two parts. There will be an Open House from 5:00 � 6:00 p.m., followed by a presentation and Q & A from 6:00 � 7:30 p.m. It is essential that we be well represented. We have been told repeatedly that this is a draft, and that the GGNRA will seriously consider public comments. If possible, attend the meeting, and be sure to ask questions during the Q & A period.

Written comments can be submitted by August 13, in one of 3 ways: online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/goga (click project title and follow instructions); by e-mail (mailto:goga_parkplanning@nps.gov); or by sending written comments to:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Building 201
San Francisco, CA 94123
Attention: MH-FB TMP


There are many issues associated with this plan. Here are some of the more important ones. (See below for details on obtaining access to the plan.)

1. The purpose of the plan is in part, to �provide improved access to and within the Marin Headlands and Fort Baker for a variety of users�� As well, it is intended to address the inadequacy of trails by improving trail conditions and connectivity, and to �create an attractive and viable alternative to auto access.� Let the GGNRA know that in important respects this plan fails to do that.

2. The road up to Slacker Hill will be closed under the Preferred Alternative. It is a popular destination point for cyclists as well as other users. The plan envisions leaving the lower part of the area open to folks who study raptors. The GGNRA expects many comments on this. Please let them know that:

� Slacker Hill has enjoyed long historical use by cyclists and other users without problems. Please leave it open.
� Slacker Hill provides spectacular views of the Golden Gate, the city, and other Headlands locations that are unique, and unavailable at any other place. It is said to be the best view area within the Headlands.
� Closure of Slacker Hill Road will deny hikers and equestrians the ability to travel between the SCA/Ridge Trail, and the top of Julian Road, creating a serious gap in access to the western part of the park.

3. The preferred alternative rehabilitates the existing Dubois Road between the new pedestrian bike bridge at the intersection of McCullough and Bunker Roads, and Julian Road, (which allows bikes.) After rehabilitation, it will open this important connector to hikers and equestrians, but not bikes. Ask the GGNRA to permit bike access on Dubois Road.

4. There is an important trail that will go between the visitor center at Rodeo Lagoon, and the riding stable. As the Alternative 3 map shows, it bends to the south, approaching Conzelman Road. Part of that trail will involve new construction. There will be a connector from that trail to the new Coastal Trail alignment on the south side of Conzelman, just east of Battery McIndoe. It is unclear how much of this important trail will be open to bikes. It is not discussed in the plan specifically, but it is on the map. It is clear the GGNRA does not want bikes near the stable. Since there is no name yet for this segment, we must ask for access, using descriptive terms. Here are talking points.

� Ask the GGNRA to provide bike access to the trail that descends from Conzelman Road, east of Battery McIndoe, to the Visitor Center on Rodeo Lagoon. It is critical that cyclists have off road routes from Conzelman Road, down into the Valley. This is in furtherance of the Plan�s goal to improve trails and connectivity within the area.
� Ask the GGNRA to provide bike access on the existing trail that starts at the riding stables, proceeds westerly, then southerly, passing to the east of the Headlands Center for the Arts, and finally joining the newly created Visitor Center – Conzelman Road trail.


This is a complex plan. Most folks can get access by going to http://parkplanning.nps.gov/goga, clicking on the Marin Headlands plan, followed by the Document List, then the transportation plan. This will take you to a large directory of the plan, which includes the various alternatives. Many people, (particularly Mac users,) will have difficulty opening the files. If you have problems, please contact Steve Ortega at (415) 561-4841, or email goga_planning@nps.gov for a printed or electronic version of this complicated plan. Of course, you can view the plan at the July 18 meeting.

Within the large directory, (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=303&projectId=12152&documentID=19395), the alternatives are contained in Chapter 2. Click there to read the discussion, particularly the part dealing with Alternative 3, the Preferred Alternative. To see a comparison of the various Alternatives, look at the Detailed Summary of Alternative Actions, near the end of Chapter 2. Finally, to properly understand the alternatives, look at the Alternative 3 map, by going back to the directory, and scanning down to Figure 2.4 Alternative 3 (Preferred Ped Trail Bike.) Other maps are available there as well. If you want pdf�s of any parts of the plan, including Chapter 2 and the relevant maps, or have questions, email imbamsk@musichael.com.