County to improve Agate Beach Trail as part of inclusive access plan

09/07/2017

Marin County Parks began a $99,000 restoration project on the Agate Beach Trail in Bolinas last week, part of an initiative to improve access to the county’s trail system. Beginning last week, the trailhead leading to Agate Beach is closed to the public from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays only. Construction, which is likely to last around a month, will include drainage improvements, resurfacing to level the pathway and the installation of box steps on a portion of trail close to the beach. According to the parks department’s senior open space planner, Craig Richardson, “the trail shouldn’t look that different once the work has been completed, and the project will address a maintenance issue at the trailhead that was especially difficult last winter.” Six other trails will be improved, including at White House Pool and the Roy’s Redwoods Meadow Trail in West Marin. The projects are part of the county’s inclusive access plan, which was adopted in August 2016 by the Marin County Open Space District’s board of directors. The plan included an evaluation of the existing inventory of pedestrian trails and recommendations for ways to increase the equitability of access—including the potential use of service animals, mobility devices and visitor amenities. The plan is funded by Measure A, which since 2013 has funded $11.5 million in park and open space infrastructure repairs, vegetation management, conservation and public programs. But at least for Bolinas resident William McGovern, the Agate Beach project is “unnecessary.” In a letter published in the Hearsay News last week, Mr. McGovern expressed concern that the county would “likely advertise the newly refurbished trail, possibly with clear directions, thereby adding to the traffic on Elm [Street] and the presence of people at the beach and the trail.” A new sign will indeed be erected, Mr. Richardson said, posting information about the trail’s new width and gradient.