Revisions to Stinson Beach parking rules could help first responders

12/30/2020

New parking restrictions and signs may be coming to Stinson Beach, at the request of the town’s fire chief. On Monday, the Stinson Beach Fire Protection District board reviewed a number of proposals from Marin County’s traffic division, including changing no-parking zones to no-stopping zones, relocating signs so they are consistent with existing resolutions, and expanding fire lanes around hydrants, access routes and the fire station. The new fire lanes, proposed on Arenal and Buena Vista Avenues, Calle Del Mar and Shoreline Highway, would come with a $163 fine. The board said it would also consider recommending another fire lane on one side of Marine Way, an important evacuation route leading out of the beach parking lot. Before the Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution, traffic planners will seek consensus next month from the fire board and the Stinson Beach Village Association. The changes are prompted by unprecedented visitation this summer, as parked cars have clogged narrow streets and impeded ambulances and fire trucks; the goal is to have red paint on the curbs and signs in the ground by next summer. Dave Flynn, a transportation planning manager for the Department of Public Works, said the changes are meant to improve safety; relieving traffic congestion on the highway will require additional assessment. Residents have called for traffic control at the four-way stop sign, which creates a back-up well beyond town on busy afternoons. To do so, they would need to obtain costly liability insurance and an encroachment permit from Caltrans. “The larger issue of improving traffic in West Marin, particularly in a Covid summer, that is more of a daunting task,” Mr. Flynn said.