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Traveling will be laborious on Labor Day

By James Lanaras

August 30, 2007

Commuting in the San Rafael area on Labor Day weekend is expected to be laborious.

Police say the Labor Day weekend closure of the Bay Bridge will have an enormous impact on traffic in San Rafael and they are advising residents to plan accordingly.

Police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said the closure between 8 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Tuesday will bring thousands of drivers over the Golden Gate and Richmond-San Rafael bridges and San Rafael is the hub of alternate routes between San Francisco and the East Bay.

The Sausalito Art Festival and several sporting events around the Bay Area will occur during anticipated peak traffic times between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Rohrbacher said.

Motorists coming from the East Bay will be using the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to reach U.S. Highway 101 south, Rohrbacher said. Drivers may want to take Anderson Drive as an alternate route if traffic is heavy from Interstate Highway 580 to U.S. Highway 101, she said.

Traffic from San Francisco heading to the East Bay on U.S. Highway 101 north will likely get congested at Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and may spread into downtown San Rafael and north to North San Pedro Road as drivers turn around to return to Interstate Highway 580, Rohrbacher said.

Police are advising drivers from Sonoma County to use state Highway 37 to get to the East Bay, Rohrbacher said.

Police will continually monitor the flow of traffic and there will be additional staff during the holiday weekend, Rohrbacher said. Signs and barricades will be staged at various locations for quick set up.

If congestion builds on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and San Rafael streets are used to access U.S. Highway 101, signs will be posted and officers may manually control key intersections, Rohrbacher said.

Road closures, increased manual traffic control and detours may be necessary if congestion becomes extremely heavy, Rohrbacher said. The San Rafael Fire Department will relocate equipment and personnel based on need and the traffic impact on individual fire stations.

San Rafael residents are advised to avoid making trips and stay off the roads as much as possible. Plan to leave early, expect delays and prepare for a late return home if you must travel, Rohrbacher said.

Public transit is available. The Golden Gate Bridge District is increasing ferry and bus service between San Francisco and Marin County and a ferry between Larkspur and Sausalito will be available on a limited basis.

Residents may check www.goldengate.org for schedules and more information. Dialing 511 or logging on to cad.chp.ca.gov or www.511.org will provide up-to-the-minute traffic conditions throughout the weekend.

Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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