Highway 1 and Muir Woods Road Update

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Update on the Traffic Situation on Highway 1 and the Muir Woods Area

Along with holiday cheer, the Christmas weekend brought frustration and chaos caused by the unfortunate combination of a road closure due to a landslide on Highway 1, good weather and prime visitation time at Muir Woods. While the area falls within Supervisor Steve Kinsey’s District 4, traffic conditions there impact all of us in southern Marin.

Supervisor Kinsey and I have been in close contact with our County Public Works Director, the Sheriff, Marin Transit's General Manager, and GGNRA managers, in an effort to respond to the situation. The County quickly acted to limit roadside parking on Franks Valley Road to improve road safety. However, one-time visitors all but ignored the restrictions and created greater safety hazards by parking on the uphill sections of Muir Woods Road. 

In response, we asked our Sheriff to increase deputy patrols to help enforce the parking restrictions. Soon, it became apparent that some parking on Franks Valley Road was a necessary relief for the immediate situation, so barriers came down. The Sheriff has agreed to stay involved, while also needing to provide its regular patrol duties.

Unfortunately, the Muir Woods Shuttle, which would have operated over the holiday weekend, was suspended because of the unsafe route down from Panoramic, adding to the number of vehicles driving to Muir Woods. And, of course, the tour buses permitted by GGNRA continued to come, making congestion and safety even more problematic.

We have just learned that the GGNRA is instituting a temporary public use limit at Muir Woods National Monument as follows: Effective Thursday, January 1, 2015, through Sunday, January 4, 2015, vehicles entering Muir Woods National Monument may not exceed 25 feet in length or 96 inches in width.

Hopefully, this restriction will help improve safety conditions over the New Year’s holiday weekend.

We recognize how difficult the current situation is for our residents and will continue to push for better near-term enforcement and a rapid repair of Highway 1. Stay safe this weekend and Happy New Year. Feel welcome to call me at (415)473-7331 or write to ksears@marincounty.org.