County of Marin - News Releases - Road Safety Analysis

For Immediate Release
December 12, 2018

Safety Analysis of Marin’s Roads Completed

Systemic assessment of travel safety will help guide future improvements

San Rafael, CA – A newly completed, large scale systemic safety analysis of roadways across Marin County will help drive future improvement projects, grant applications and traffic safety outreach programs for unincorporated areas of Marin and its 11 cities and towns.

A pedestrian crosses Third Street in downtown San Rafael as cars await.Crashes involving vulnerable roadway users, such as pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists, are disproportionately likely to result in severe outcomes.
The safety analysis, funded through the California Systemic Safety Analysis Report Program (SSARP), resulted in the development of the 2018 Marin County Travel Safety Plan, which is now available to view online. It will be presented December 18 during the Marin County Board of Supervisors session at the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 330, in San Rafael.

The Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) worked with Parisi Transportation Consulting and partnered with all Marin towns and cities in conducting the analysis. The project, which began in 2016, also involved collaboration with various town and city police departments, the Marin County Sheriff and the California Highway Patrol. A technical advisory committee, comprised of representatives from the Marin Public Works Association, Transportation Authority of Marin and Marin General Hospital, was formed to help guide the process.

The universal traffic assessment of the region evaluated high-risk road corridors and intersections where frequent collisions had occurred between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016. The report focused on collisions that resulted in someone being killed or seriously injured (KSI), including incidents that involved pedestrians, bicycles, speeding or aggressive driving. A total of 2,756 crashes were reported during the five-year study window, with an annual average of 44 collisions occurring on locally-maintained roads that involved at least one KSI.

The study identified collision trends for each jurisdiction of Marin. For example, in unincorporated Marin, solo vehicle crashes were the most common crash type and represented 23 percent of all KSI collisions. Additionally, the collision analysis found that crashes involving vulnerable roadway users, such as pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists, are disproportionately likely to result in severe outcomes. For instance, while crashes involving pedestrians represent just 11 percent of all reported incidents, they represent 20 percent of KSI crashes.

The 2018 Marin County Travel Safety Plan is expected to be a key document in the preparation of future public works programs and projects for each local jurisdiction. The plan identified 68 road segments and 93 intersections that have a higher-than-normal potential risk for KSI collisions. The study identified operational measures and possible infrastructure improvements for each jurisdiction to address the high-risk collision locations.

“Public safety is our upmost concern, and this in-depth report will allow us to make plans for a safer roadway network for all of Marin,” said Bob Goralka, DPW’s Principal Civil Engineer.

By identifying potential traffic safety improvements, the County, cities and towns of Marin will be better equipped to apply for state and federal grants for road safety. The new safety plan has already been a key component in preparing three California Highway Safety Improvement Grant Program (HSIP) grant applications: San Rafael’s Third Street corridor project; Novato’s De Long Avenue/Diablo Avenue corridor project; and a countywide traffic signal enhancements project. 

In 2016, California’s HSIP set up the SSARP to help local agencies assess their road networks and encourage proactively identifying potential safety improvement projects based on data. Of the 108 SSARP grant applications submitted in 2016, only 61 were selected and carried a total cost of $10 million. Marin’s project was unique in that it involved multiple roads and traffic jurisdictions working together.

The SSARP grant covered $499,500 of the total project cost of $555,000. The $55,500 required beyond the grant was paid for by the local agencies involved in the partnership. Of that sum, $33,000 came from the cities and towns of Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Larkspur, San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, Ross, San Anselmo, Sausalito and Tiburon. The remaining $22,500 came out of the DPW’s transportation budget.


Craig Tackabery
Chief Assistant Director
Department of Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive.
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6582
Email: Craig Tackabery
DPW website