Update from Kate - Muir Woods progress report and Save the Date for Community Meeting

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Muir Woods Transportation and Parking

Over the last several months we have been hard at work with our partners in the community, the National Parks Service (NPS) and the California Department of Parks and Recreation, to develop and implement an action plan to better control traffic to Muir Woods National Monument and to improve parking and traffic safety along Muir Woods Road. The County and NPS developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to memorialize the details of these beneficial and long-sought parking and traffic safety arrangements.

The goal of the MOU is to restrict and, in certain areas, eventually eliminate parking along Franks Valley Road, while also allowing the NPS to implement a parking reservation system for Muir Woods visitors and enhance public transportation options. We’ve been pursuing the initiation of a reservation system for over a decade and we’re finally at the threshold of that bold, new era.

On June 30, 2015, the Board of Supervisors adopted the MOU. Shortly afterwards the Marin County Sheriff's Office executed an agreement with NPS Park Police to permit the NPS to enforce parking and other traffic controls along Franks Valley Road. A staff working group team was formed, and plans have been prepared to construct physical barriers to restrict parking (wood posts, and post and cable systems), add road striping and improved shoulder Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs).

In early October, County staff also brought to the Board traffic resolutions to enhance the size of the No Parking zones and increase the parking violation fine to $99, which is the maximum amount allowed by the State of California. Both the County and NPS continue to work with Marin Transit to improve future bus service to Muir Woods. Note that bus ridership has grown from 5,000 visitors in 2006 to carrying over 50,000 visitors in 2014. Also in October, the County, NPS, Muir Beach Fire Department, Caltrans and CHP met to consider road safety options related to bus size, routes, and other factors.

The NPS over the past few months has been working on an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the implementation of the Muir Woods Reservation System, and has released it for a 30-day public comment period, ending on November 21.

The EA, which is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), studies and reviews the federal action implementing the reservation system and its actions to reduce roadside parking and peak visitation. The scope and purpose of this document is limited to the reservation system implementation, getting cars off the roadside, and other related actions to implement the MOU. The EA is not an assessment of the possible reconstruction of infrastructure (road and parking lots) or any future creek restoration efforts. Habitat restoration and infrastructure improvement remain ongoing goals of our partnership. We believe and expect that the EA will lead to a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). Once that finding is complete, the NPS will be able to sign the MOU and begin the immediate work needed for the parking barrier system. Weather permitting, we expect work to begin in December and it will take approximately 25 working days to complete.

As always, we appreciate your support and commitment to this collaborative process. Our mutual and long-desired goal is a much improved situation here and we're almost there. Please feel welcome to contact our aides, Liza Crosse, lcrosse@marincounty.org or 415-473-3246, or Maureen Parton, mparton@marincounty.org, 415-473-7593 with any input, comments and questions.


Kathrin Sears Signature


Steve Kinsey Signature

Kathrin Sears
Supervisor, District Three

 Steve Kinsey
Supervisor, District Four


Save the Date!

Community meeting and update on the implementation of the Muir Woods MOU

Sponsored by the County of Marin and the National Park Service

Wednesday, January 6, 6:30 p.m.

at the Tam Valley Community Center, 203 Marin Ave. Mill Valley