Skip to content

A ‘Walking Action Plan’ for Marin City and Sausalito, California

Uniting once-segregated school communities by fostering shared spaces and opportunities for walking, cycling and connecting

Following is an AARP summary of the walking action plan developed by State Walking College Fellows Sybil Boutilier, Juanita Edwards and Vicki Nichols.

A map showing the location of Sausalito and Marin City, California

Image from Google Maps

Sausalito and Marin City (marked in yellow) are located just north of San Francisco.


  • Work together to create safe and appealing walk and bike spaces across Sausalito and Marin City in order to promote healthy living for people of all ages

  • Participate with the area’s newly merged school communities (the result of a desegregation order by the California Attorney General) to come together in mutually beneficial and supportive intergenerational activities

Juanita Edwards
Vicki Nichols
Sybil Boutiler

State Walking College Fellows
Class of 2021

Walking College Fellows Juanita Edwards, Vicki Nichols and Sybil Boutilier

Courtesy photos

Juanita Edwards is the interim general manager of the Marin City Community Services District. Vicki Nichols is a former vice president of the Sausalito Planning Commission and chair of the Marin Conservation League. Sybil Boutilier is chair of Age Friendly Sausalito (the initiative that leads the city’s membership in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities) and she serves as a member of the Marin County Commission on Aging. 

  • Mitigate and reduce injuries among all age groups, especially older adults, that result from falls and cycling accidents

  • Tap into intergenerational knowledge and energy for facilitating new programs and building on others to connect residents to a healthier lifestyle and one another

  • Advocate for the types of budgets required to provide equitable infrastructure across the “94965” community

  • Identify and participate in mitigating barriers that prevent residents from sharing in the equitable means and benefits of sustainable solutions


Sausalito is a maritime community built along the shore of Richardson Bay, a shallow, ecologically rich arm of San Francisco Bay. The city has a mostly hilly terrain, with most residences located along steep, narrow, winding roads.

Bridgeway is a flat, main thoroughfare that runs north/south and connects to Highway 101 (and to an intercity bike path) at its north end, and to the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands to the south. 

Neighboring Marin City is a valley community that was developed to house the shipbuilding workers who came to California during World War II. After the war, several multiunit buildings were developed for public housing including the historic Golden Gate Village complex designed by Aaron Green, a protégée of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Sausalito’s population is just over 7,100 people. Marin City has a population of 3,173 people. Sausalito is 92 percent white. Marin City is more racially and ethnically diverse. The median age in Marin City is 38.5. In Sausalito, it’s 55.9. The percentage of people living below the federal poverty line in Marin City is 22.8 percent, in Sausalito it’s 5 percent. 

The two communities are divided by Highway 101 with the only access via a tunnel beneath the highway. 

Cycling in Sausalito

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of bicyclists entering Sausalito from the south could reach 5,500 on a summer day. Many such visitors ride in on rental bicycles. From the north, bicycle commuters and exercise enthusiasts ride through Sausalito to reach the Golden Gate Bridge or Marin Headlands

Forty percent of Sausalito’s population is age 60 or older. Such individuals are more at risk for a serious injury from a fall, by being startled or possibly sideswiped by an unruly or unaware cyclist.

An additional safety challange stems from the differing experience-levels among the riders traveling in the same bike lanes or sharing the road with automobiles. Many rental bike riders wobble along the street, while speedy bike commuters and impatient automobiles weave their way through the same single lanes.


  • Safe Routes to Schools
  • Sausalito Marin City School District
  • Marin Bike Coalition
  • Sausalito Pedestrian and Bicycle Committee
  • Sausalito Department of Public Works
  • Sausalito Department of Recreation and Parks
  • Age Friendly Sausalito*
  • Call-A-Ride-Sausalito-Seniors (CARSS)
  • Sausalito Village Volunteers
  • Age Forward Marin (County Age Friendly)
  • Marin County Parks and Open Space
  • Marin County Department of Public Works

* Age Friendly Sausalito worked with the city to add crosswalk flags (for pedestrians to wave when crossing) and age-appropriate park features for older adults to exercise.


1.  Promote biking and walking to school

  • Engage intergenerational volunteers to help form "walking school buses" for students

  • Create a safety education program to encourage safer behaviors by drivers, cyclists and pedestrians

  • Participate in a “Walk and Roll to School” event

  • Develop and assist with a plan for involving parent and students in walking activities

2.  Promote and advocate for enhanced community walkability/bikeability through improvements to the built environment

  • Conduct walk audits [scroll down to learn more] in order to identify deficiencies or opportunities for improvements

  • Commit to maintaining and promoting advocacy efforts during budget or other financial hearings

  • Work with city and county officials, staff, nonprofits and others to focus attention on the community needs for safer and better walkability and bikeability

  • Engage with the community at events, fairs and through written communications

  • Establish a point of contact as an ongoing source of information

  • During a two-year commitment of involvement, develop sustainability measures to ensure that the programs included or developed have the volunteers and knowledge needed to be self-sufficient

3.  Advocate for and coordinate opportunities for neighborhood input about built environment improvements on Coloma Street between Bridgeway and Olima Streets bordering MLK Park.

  • Advocate for prioritizing safety and walkability for seniors, school students and parents, dog walkers and athletic groups who use the street multiple times per day

  • Coordinate a placemaking event to review and provide resident and user input into the city and county’s design plans — and offer suggestions to local officials for how to enhance the plans to meet the safety needs and other issues of neighborhood importance

4.  Promote and advocate for the walkability and cycling needs of older adults 

  • Ensure that the adult fitness zone in Sausalito's MLK Park is completed and properly maintained

  • Establish social walking groups for seniors

  • Introduce and incentivize older adults to explore bicycle transportation as a way of life

  • Create an event to introduce older people to a range of bicycles, tricycles and e-bikes, including various adaptive bike configurations

  • Convene partners and allies to explore services and programs that can provide support for older adults as they adapt to bicycle use as an alternative to automobiles

5. Advocate for traffic calming measures

  • Advocate for policies and programs to reduce and avoid the occurance of bicycle/pedestrian near-misses and collisions along routes to school and on the Bridgeway traffic corridor

  • Advocate for smart speed limits

  • Advocate for improved crosswalk visibility and safe crosswalk timing for all ages 

  • Advocate for improved compliance with traffic laws

  • Explore innovative incentives for compliance as alternatives to ticketing enforcement

6.  Develop a safe walking/rolling education campaign with an intergenerational focus

  • Educate youth and adults about safe cycling, related traffic laws and courtesy protocols (such as honoring pedestrian rights)

  • Review and build upon existing bike safety programs

  • Promote awareness by developing flyers and posters for biking corridors and a banner for placing on Bridgeway 

  • Create and plan event(s) to build engagement and buy-in by the cycling community and other stakeholders

  • Distribute The League of American BicyclistsSmart Cycling Quick Guide and other materials

7.  Promote community inclusion, cohesion and health promotion through social walking groups in Marin City

  • Recruit walking group leaders who, in turn, will help recruit group members 

  • Convene members to help plan the routes, destinations and frequency 

  • Publicize and promote the program throughout the community, including in ethnic and non-English speaking communities

  • Launch an art contest among teen groups and school art classes for creating program flyers and posters

  • Incorporate evidence-based “Walk With Ease” principles in the leader guidance

  • Provide gift cards to incentivize the walking group leaders to organize frequent walks

8.  Use volunteers to enhance public spaces and pedestrian infrastructure

  • Build and install community benches

  • Build and post public bulletin boards (near benches and main intersections)

9.  Develop community input for a Vision Zero program in Marin City

  • Meet with county officials to explore possibilities for Vision Zero planning in Marin City

  • Collaborate with stakeholders to establish and implement shared safer streets goals


As of February 2022:

  • Recruited and organized volunteers for two walking school bus events for K-5  students. (Goal #1)

  • Participated in two "Walk and Roll to School" events, including for the Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day, with Safe Routes to School and the Sausalito Pedestrian and Bike Committee. Recruited and coordinated volunteers to greet students arriving on bikes or on foot with small gifts. Invited and walked the route between the campuses with the Sausalito city manager and staff from the county supervisor's office. (Goal #1)

  • Staffed a table at an outdoor screening of the movie MotherLoad, which was organized by the Marin Bicycle Coalition and the Sausalito Pedestrian and Bike Committee, and promoted walking school buses and distributed flyers to potential volunteers. The event included displays about bike types, including cargo bikes, electric bikes and a bicycle-powered blender for making smoothies. (Goal #1)

  • Conducted a 1.5 mile walk audit with representative of Safe Routes to Schools between the two school campuses. (Goal #2)

  • Conducted a walk audit between Rocky Graham Park, the Margarita Johnson Senior Center and the Marin City Recreation Center to assess opportunities for improving a pathway that's frequently used by the community and for possible inclusion in a county grant submission. Participants included members of Seniors on the Move, the Marin County Commission on Aging and the county's Age Forward program. (Goal #2)

  • Participated in a walk audit for siting a bike pathway and possibly day-lighting a creek along the Nevada Street corridor. (Goal #2)

  • Testified before the Marin County Board of Supervisors to increase the budget for local park improvements and maintenance in the Measure A bond renewal that will be up for a vote in the next election cycle. (Goal #2)

  • Sausalito has identified resources to complete the design for Coloma Street but it still lacks funding for construction. A meeting with the Sausalito Public Works director to discuss community inputs and placemaking is pending. (Goal #3)

  • Met with a member of the Marin Bicycle Coalition to discuss organizing a bike wrangle for older adults to increase their familiarity with various bicycle types and encourage the use of an appropriate bike for transportation around the community.  (Goal #4)

  • Provided information to the Sausalito Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee in a public meeting about our advocacy program and plans for biking and walking safety. (Goal #5)

  • Started a review of existing bike safety programs and plans for southern Marin. (Goal #6)

  • Contacted AARP to inquire about help in acquiring bulk copies of the Smart Cycling Quick Guide. (Goal #6)

  • Recruited the first Marin City Social Walking Group leader who, in turn, is identifying potential walking group members. (Goal #7)

  • Built benches that are ready for siting and installation in Marin City. (Goal #8)

  • Received feedback from the county Public Works Department that Marin City might not need a fill-scale Vision Zero plan. A decision was made to focus on Donahue Street, adjacent to Rocky Graham Park, as identified by community members for possible safety signage and traffic calming measures. (Goal #9)

Page published March 2022

Get Walking!

Order or download the free AARP Walk Audit Tool Kit and worksheets.

Our Free Publications!

See the complete list at

Follow Us

Contact Us

  • Email AARP Livable Communities at

  • Ask about the AARP Livability Index by completing this online form.

  • AARP Members: For questions about your benefits, AARP The Magazine or the AARP Bulletin, visit the AARP Contact Us page or call 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277).