Become an Alto Tunnel-Friendly Business
1. Complete Alto Tunnel-Friendly Business Form below.
2. After receipt of Alto Tunnel-Friendly sticker in mail, display it in your establishment.
3. Tell others about Alto Tunnel and encourage them to participate.
Why become an Alto Tunnel-Friendly Business?
Friends of Alto Tunnel (FOAT) is developing a list of businesses that support the goal of reopening the Alto Tunnel and building a complete bicycle and pedestrian network for Marin County. FOAT requests your support in these efforts. Ultimately, we seek to let our elected bodies and the wider public know that your business understands the benefits that walking and bicycling provides to individuals, the environment, and to the economic health of our communities. FOAT is committed to supporting businesses that recognize active transportation as being good for our communities’ health and vitality.
Bicyclists and Pedestrians Spend Money
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has demonstrated that re-purposing abandoned rail lines into bicycling and walking trails increases tourism dollars spent in each community through which the trail passes.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy cites many examples from all over the country, such as:
• Trails and bikeways in Pittsburgh, PA contributed significantly to downtown revitalization, including millions of dollars in economic development.
• After opening of a bikeway in Leadville, CO, the city reported a 19% increase in sales tax revenue.
• The average cyclist that stops to eat spends nearly $18 in Ohio, $23 in Colorado, and $34 in California.
• A study of property values along the Mountain Bay Trail in Brown County, Wisconsin, shows that lots adjacent to the trail sold faster and for an average of 9 percent more than similar property not located next to the trail.
Building the Marin Bicycle and Pedestrian Network
Marin County is home to some of the best bicycling and walking facilities in the country. It is well documented through research that improved infrastructure results in more people biking and walking, and an increase of bicycle and pedestrian traffic near local businesses brings additional customers.
The County of Marin and each of its cities and towns have adopted bicycle and pedestrian master plans that provide plans for constructing bike lanes, pathways, sidewalks, and bike routes to connect residences with businesses, shopping centers, schools, transit centers, parks and other destinations. To date, Marin County and its municipalities have dozens of miles of multiuse paths, bike lanes and sidewalks for pedestrians and cyclists to use within and between our towns for commuting, school-related trips, recreation and shopping.
Reopening Alto Tunnel – Closing the Non-motorized Gap Between Central and Southern Marin
Presently, only fit and skilled bicyclists can go between Mill Valley and the rest of the county without using motor vehicles, and there is no direct and safe route suitable for pedestrians. The Alto Tunnel will provide a safe and level non-motorized route suitable for all ages and abilities, and will significantly reduce traffic congestion and pollution. The tunnel will provide an emergency route for ambulances and service vehicles and an evacuation route when roads are gridlocked. Reconstructing the Tunnel will stop ongoing collapse and will stabilize adjacent homes and improvements. Since the 1970s, the County has had plans for a North-South Greenway along the former Northwestern Pacific Railroad right-of-way, spanning Marin County from north to south, providing access to transit centers, businesses, schools, and town centers. A well-used multiuse pathway extends for three miles from Sausalito through Mill Valley leading to the south portal of Alto Tunnel. Another pathway extends from the north portal through Corte Madera and Larkspur, connecting the Larkspur Ferry Terminal, the Cal Park Tunnel, and bike and pedestrian facilities and communities to the north.
Reduced Health Costs/Increased Health Benefits
The positive effects of walking and bicycling are well known and have been extensively documented, especially within the public health sector. Health professionals tout that regular walking and bicycling can have significant impacts on a person’s well-being, leading to weight loss, lowered blood pressure, increased strength, mobility and mental health benefits, reduced stress levels, and ultimately lower healthcare costs both to businesses, individuals and society.
Count me in: Better bicycling and walking means better business and a safer, healthier, more vibrant community! As a Marin County business, I support the goal of creating a complete pedestrian and bicycle network, which will offer needed additional local transportation choices, provide opportunities for improved health and air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support local businesses by encouraging doing business by foot and bicycle.