Marin Avenue Re-Striping Plan Delayed Until Early October By MATTHEW ARTZ

Friday August 12, 2005

A plan to eliminate two traffic lanes on Marin Avenue has been delayed until early October because Albany couldn’t find a single contractor to both re-stripe the street and make needed repairs to the asphalt. 

Originally Albany and Berkeley had planned to re-stripe a section of Marin Avenue this month, when traffic on the busy thoroughfare was light and the two nearby elementary schools were on summer vacation. 

But when Albany put its portion of the project out to bid in June, no contractor made an offer, said Ann Chaney, Albany’s community development director. She said contractors were unsure they could complete the job by the August deadline requested by the city. 

To get the project moving forward, Albany is retaining several contractors to re-stripe the avenue and make repairs to Albany’s portion of the street. Berkeley decided to only re-stripe its section of Marin Avenue, and has already selected a contractor to do the work. 

The project calls for eliminating two of the four traffic lanes and adding a middle turning lane and two bicycle lanes. It is hoped that the new configuration will reduce car speeds and improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Opponents of the project worried that it would increase commute times and force motorists onto side-streets. 

At Monday’s Albany City Council meeting two residents called on the council to delay the project for fear that the road work started after Labor Day would snarl traffic and endanger school children crossing Marin Avenue. 

Chaney said that at least one lane of traffic in each direction will be open at all times during construction, which is expected to last two weeks.Ã