Dissatisfied with the county’s tack since a about a proposed sidewalk on Evergreen Ave., some Homestead Valley residents are circulating an online survey to tally community sentiment about the controversial project.
Evergreen Ave. resident Mari Tamburo, an opponent of the sidewalk project, said the survey’s goal is to find out “who wants the sidewalk on Evergreen and who doesn't - and why or why not. That will help the (county) understand whether or not our community wants a sidewalk at all and if so, how to proceed with their mission: to serve our community.”
The $1.1 million project, the bulk of which would be paid for by a state Safe Routes to School grant, would create a sidewalk along a 2,000-foot stretch of Evergreen from Mill Valley city limits (250 feet east of Ethel Avenue) to the intersection with Melrose, where is located. It includes curbs and gutters, six new crosswalks, 11 accessible curb ramps, 29 new driveway aprons and myriad drainage improvements.
In an effort to quell a firestorm of criticism over the project, the county to reduce the width of the sidewalk from 6 feet to 5 feet to lessen the impact on street parking and aesthetics.
Since that revised proposed was unveiled in November, online debate about the project hasn’t abated, as many residents have concluded that a sidewalk does not fit into the aesthetic character of the street and the neighborhood. Others have questioned whether the sidewalk would address its stated goal: making a narrow street safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, particularly children commuting to/from Marin Horizon and from the neighborhood to/from other schools.
Bob Beaumont, the county’s chief assistant director of public works, said the county continues to receive a heap of input from the community on the Evergreen Ave. project.
“We are continuing to review the information we receive and will certainly take it into account in making any decisions relating to the proposed project,” he said.
The survey itself asks residents if they are for or against the sidewalk and if they favor an alternate design. It asks respondents to choose from a list of reasons for opposing the project, including its width, its inclusion of disabled access ramps, its narrowing of the road, its impact on parking or that it doesn’t fit with the neighborhood.
The survey asks residents to list and explain any particular road safety concerns about Evergreen in general.