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National Parks Say There Won't Be a Parking Lot on Panoramic Highway

The National Parks Service heard Mill Valley residents loud and clear, tossing out the idea of a 180-car parking lot at four corners.

The park service is now trying to develop a plan to lessen the impacts after the community was clearly outraged about the concept of a shuttle between a new parking lot at four corners on Panoramic Highway, that could have held approximately 180-vehicles.

According to the Marin IJ, Golden Gate National Recreation spokesman, Howard Levitt, said they heard the public loud and clear and will not pursue a parking lot on the ridge.

Satellite parking and shuttles are reportedly being discussed still, however are focused on establishing lots at the Highway 101/1 junction near Mill Valley.

Read the full report here.

Clayton Smith December 14, 2013 at 03:02 PM
We are hoping that the Park Service will back off on their desire to increase parking up on the Dias Ridge, out at Muir Woods itself, as well as down here in Tam Valley at Manzanita. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I did a very detailed analysis of the parking situation at the Park and have gone over the Marin Transit's Park & Ride statistics and concluded that, if the Park Service is really serious about limiting the visitation to the Park to under 4,000 people per day, they can meet this goal without any additional parking. I put these numbers out for the general public to review on the MountTamTaskForce website, I posted them on the Mill Valley Patch over a month ago, I have talked personally with our supervisor, Kate Sears, about going over my analysis point by point in detail, I stand ready to discuss this in detail at a public meeting with representatives of the GGNRA. The Park Service's assertions are without foundation. They can live within their existing footprint, if they choose to. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Of importance, in this regard, is the recent planning that has been going on behind the scene for the County of Marin to hand over control of Frank Valley Road (the roadway running from Muir Woods out to Highway 1 at Muir Beach) to the Feds. Control over this road is the principle leverage we locals have to moderate the behavior of the Park Service. Currently, it is the site of the out of control spill over parking that has brought the inundation of excess visitation to Muir Woods, i.e. the extra 2,000 visitors per day experienced during the high season weekends. I asked Steve Kinsey point blank about this at the meeting in Tam Valley Elementary School earlier this week and he said that it was off the table. But later on, he hedged this statement when asked follow up questions on this issue by talking about "sharing responsibilities" for the roadway with the Park Service. This is the proverbial "camel's nose under the tent." Given the slippery slope it puts us on to eventually ceding all control, we must adamantly oppose this. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Also, once again the Park Service is looking to put what they previously referred to as a Transit Intercept Facility and Welcome Center at the Manzanita. (Welcome Center sounds so touchy feely.) They tried to do this 10 years ago and local activists spent many years battling that one. At the end of that process our previous supervisor, Charles Mc Glashen, sided with the community and got an agreement with the Park Service to back off. Traffic at the freeway exit at Manzanita is already unbearable most weekends, and if Plan Bay Area is implemented, it is bound to get even worse. This begs the question as to why complicate vehicular movement even more by locating a transit facility at the Junction. This is wrong. This is stupidly wrong. This can only be harmful to everyone living in Southern Marin. We must oppose it! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The fact that these proposals keep surfacing begs yet another question, why don't the bureaucrats at the GGNRA get any of this? I would argue that they don't want to, and that they are likely to keep bringing them forward, over and over again, hoping that eventually we will be asleep at the switch and they will get their way. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I hope that if there is one thing you the reader walk away with from this commentary and your experience with the "powers that be," it is a commitment to vigilance in defense of your community and your way of life. Local communities and their diverse standards lie at the core of civilization. It cannot survive without them. Standing up to the ill conceived plans of the National Park Service is the duty we owe to the future of this little bit of the planet we inhabit. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Stay informed and stay ready!
Luke Teyssier December 16, 2013 at 11:10 AM
The park service plans still allow for more than 2 Million visitors a year using roadside parking and by turning Frank Valley Road into a "concierge" (valet) parking lot. Manzanita/Pohomo would become a large visitor center, making getting on/off the freeway an ordeal, seven days a week. Since it's all on Marin County controlled property, they need the county's permission and cooperation to do it. Just two months ago, the Marin supervisors were willing to give it all away on a consent calendar item, without any opportunity for public input, before community action put a stop to it. This is why every single community needs to let the supervisors know, with no room for doubt, that there must be a trustworthy study to put the cap on attendance at a sustainable level. This needs to happen before _any_ NPS plans are allowed to proceed. It's essential that the people AND the leadership in each community send this message clearly and unambiguously to our county supervisors. Without a sustainable and trustworthy cap, the park service can grow attendance until traffic reaches the breaking point, until Muir Woods is irreversibly damaged, and until the character of our community has been trampled and overrun.


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