Two days after winning re-election as Homestead Valley's representative on the Marin County Board of Supervisors, Steve Kinsey might be in store for an earful.
Kinsey, who defeated Corte Madera resident Diane Furst Tuesday, is set to appear at a public meeting at Mill Valley City Hall Thursday at 6 p.m. The focus will be the controverial plan to in an effort to make the street safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The meeting's intent is simply to lay out the schedule for the project, which the and is set to begin later this month. But Kinsey and county officials are facing continued opposition from neighbors who think the sidewalk is simply a bad fit for the street. Two months after the Board of Supervisors approved the project and sent it out to bid - and - emails lists and online forums continue to show that opposition among some neighbors remains strong.
The Board of Supervisors and directed county public works officials to put the estimated $1 million project out to bid. The county selected Ghilotti Construction Company. A $900,000 Safe Routes to Schools grant will pay for the bulk of the project, county officials said.
Thursday's meeting will focus on the project's schedule, its impact on neighbors and any questions residents have about that impact, according to Scott Schneider, an associate civil engineer with the county. In advance of the meeting, county officials staked the sidewalk layout in several locations to indicate its 5-foot width.
Heated debate has surrounded the idea of building a sidewalk along a 2,000-foot stretch of Evergreen, with much of it centering on and some residents’ resentment of the traffic the school brings to the neighborhood.
The sidewalk would extend from Mill Valley city limits (250 feet east of Ethel Avenue) to the intersection with Melrose, where the school is located. It includes curbs and gutters, six new crosswalks, 11 accessible curb ramps, 29 new driveway aprons and myriad drainage improvements.
Opponents of the project engaged in a largely Internet-driven campaign to get the project stopped in 2010, and county officials delayed it from its original June 2011 construction start in order to address community concerns. Residents over whether the majority of nearby residents supported the sidewalk or not, and county Public Works Director Bob Beaumont said a survey of property owners along Evergreen in 2011 indicated that “a very clear and strong majority of them support the sidewalk.”
The project seemed to get back on track with after a and the county’s decision to reduce the width of the sidewalk from 6 feet to 5 feet to lessen the impact on street parking and aesthetics.
County Principal Civil Engineer Ernest Klock said construction is expected to begin soon after Marin Horizon School ends its school year on June 8. County officials expect to finish the project by mid-August.