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Homestead Residents Circulate Evergreen Survey

Campaign hopes to gather community sentiment on controversial project in an effort to sway county officials.

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.

Mari March 10, 2012 at 03:56 AM
It hasn't been approved yet. As far as the DPW is concerned it's done, but it has not been approved yet. I really hope that we don't have to sue, because I don't blame the parents or the kids for this at all. This sidewalk wasn't their idea. It was Roz's proposed solution to complaints about he traffic - and I don't mean to criticize her in any way - she is a nice lady and was only working with what she had to work with - she saw funding available for traffic abatement, so she jumped on the opportunity. That said, I don't appreciate the residents of Evergreen Avenue being excluded - because they (HVCA, DPW and MHS) knew it would be opposed. And, yes, I blame the HVCA most of all for that - because they should have been looking out for everyone - not just what they wanted or what the school wanted. There are so many more creative ways to address this situation, starting with an alternate route from the parking lot. And honestly, if this sidewalk goes in, no one "wins" - not the residents, and not MHS. Least of all the kids - I can already see it in their faces - they used to be joyful, happy and confident walking down the street, now, they look around to see who's watching and they are sure to stay on the dedicated path. "safety" means more than physical safety. I don't feel safe in Homestead anymore, because I feel my rights are being violated. This is just so wrong on so many levels.
Rebecca March 10, 2012 at 04:47 AM
That is the STUPIDEST thing I have EVER heard of! Parked cars FORCING children into the middle of the street?? What??? You are an idiot sir. It's not called selfish, it's called we care. And honestly I think it's amusing how surprised you are to learn that we do place MORE value on our community, neighborhood, and the environment than building an ugly cement sidewalk so some out of town kids can walk on it and feel safe when we are the ones who have to live with it and look at it all day. You should be happy we let you have your school there and you should try to be a little more disrespectful and stop bothering us! WE DO NOT WANT IT!!!!
Rebecca March 10, 2012 at 04:52 AM
Lest I remind you! NO ONE has ever gotten hurt! You are fine. I know you are scared because you are new here and from out of town and have a lot of money to judge people and you feel very insecure because money doesn't buy happiness, but its going to be okay you uptight little rich person... So just relax a bit. Go take a walk in nature or something.
Rebecca March 10, 2012 at 05:05 AM
MV Majority (Not) "Damn those kids. Who cares as long as we have a nice looking dirt/grass/shrub/pebble/garbage path instead of a nice and tidy 6 inch high 4.5 ft wide sidewalk." ---> we don't want nice and tidy! Stop trying to force us into your ugly little box! If you don't like it the way you found it when you came here you should LEAVE! Go to Tiburon! "And for sure, let's suddenly give a crap about a stream no one paid attention to and whatever fish may, or may not, exist in there. They're now way more important than the lives or limbs of a few lickspittle kids who are just going to the only school in Homestead Valley." ---> how dare you?! What the HELL are you talking about??? I LOVE that creek, its beautiful and magical. It flows between me and my childhood best friend of 25 years houses.
Frank Lurz March 10, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Yes, that's the same tactic used by the Tam Valley Design Review Board (TVDRB) when they were planning to redevelop and expand MHS. Busy little Billy Cullen (TVDRB prez) would set the schedule and agenda and then "notice" the neighborhood by leaving a "notice" hanging on the wall over at the HV Community Center (as if the HVCC was a hub of activity everyone visited daily). Moreover, Saint Hamar, because she was directly involved, told Christina Oldenberg, who opposed the development, that she'd let her know when those meetings would be held — and then neglected to do so because she judged some of the meetings not to be "important." Blindsiding HV residents became so flagrant that an uproar ensued. To appease angry neighbors, County compelled Cullen and his board members to attend a class/lecture on the Brown Act. Then, the monstrosity on Montford got built anyway. You people are repeatedly being told by those in a position to "know" to "trust the process" for a good reason: the "process" is rigged to run you over!
Frank Lurz March 10, 2012 at 03:36 PM
It's more than stupid — it's a barefaced lie. The only time kids (or anyone else) walk in the "middle" of that street is when it's empty. Even then, they tend to walk not in the middle, but to one side or the other. When a vehicle passes, they step further to the side while motorists tend accommodate them by moving more toward the street's center. To confirm that, all one has to do is go out there and LOOK! In fact, our whiny castrato here isn't involved in these dialogues to arrive at a consensus through the use of reason. His purpose is merely to insult, distort, and flat out lie. He's a chronic troublemaker, plain and simple. You can't reason with him. My advice, don't bother trying!
HV Majority March 10, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Ahhh, now I get it, you like living in a garbage pit. No wonder very few people agree with you. And if you LOVE that creek so much, why don't you live in it and leave those of us who like safety and the beauty that the sidewalk is going to bringing. Yes, that's right, a sidewalk is beautiful especially compared to the crap that exists there now. I realize you're a small group but it still amazes me how many of you seem to think a sidewalk won't make the street look nicer. It's so obvious even frank could see, it if he opened his eyes. The street is such a mess - holy cow, there's a house that's had a tarp over it for years. And another who's yard has been a constant "construction project" for just as long. At least he's gotten rid of the pvc pipe that doubled for some sort of gate on his driveway. I could go on, and on, and on. But why? Wow, what a bunch of loons.
HV Majority March 10, 2012 at 04:51 PM
So, you asked a new guy who wasn't there last year. Good job. The south side has the most contiguous stretch for the entire length available for a path and sidewalk, not just where you live. And the blind corner down by Linden is the big concern, again not the little one where you live. You should know this because the DPW explained it last year at the public meeting. It would, obviously, be silly to have a sidewalk that switched sides all the way down the street, unless it works out to make your life easier, then it would make sense, to you. There's a red porche that always parks in the path. Why don't you ask that guy to move it? Yeah, thought so. And Frank, so litteral just to make an illogical point. Yes, not in the exact 'middle' of the street, but the cars block the path so the kids have to walk IN the street and not on the path or even just on the outside of the cars. But, why am I telling you? You know that, you just think people won't know it. I know you think you're smarter than everyone else, but in order to act like you are, you should at least actually BE smarter.
Mari March 10, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Wow HV Minority - I feel sorry for you. I hope for your sake, you find some way to achieve some happiness somewhere in your life, so you don't feel the need to insult and judge people who don't agree with you.
HV Majority March 11, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Oh please Mari, you don't feel sorry, give me a break. That's just some silly attempt to make yourself feel superior somehow. If you really felt sorry for those that insult and judge, why didn't you say so when others threw around insults such as "idiot" and "liar"? I'll tell you why, because they support your view. So in reality, your attempt at superiority fails because of your lack of perspective. It shows you as a small minded person who is, once again, selfish.
Mari March 11, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Actually, I do feel sorry - because you seem to be very upset that you might lose the sidewalk you so obviously want and feel strongly about. I apologize if my comment gave you the impression that I was trying to feel superior to you in any way. The reason I didn't comment when Rebecca and Frank were calling names, is because I know who they are and, therefore - am able to put their comments in context. Look, it's apparent that this is a highly charged issue. Isn't there some way we can sit and talk together like human beings and neighbors and figure this out?
Mari March 11, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Rebecca - I understand you feel strongly about this - but can you tone it down a bit? Calling people names is not helping the "anto-sidewalk" camp.
Mari March 11, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Can someone please explain how forcing a concrete sidewalk on this street is going to take the tarp off someone's house or clean up someone's yard?
Mari March 11, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Actually, the unpaved walkway is safer. If you fall on grass or dirt or woodchips, your injuries are less significant that if you, say, slam your face on hard pavement.
Mari March 11, 2012 at 05:47 PM
"The south side has the most contiguous stretch for the entire length available for a path and sidewalk, not just where you live." Just because there is ROOM on the south side to pour concrete and build a sidewalk doesn't mean that you should pour concrete there, especially when you are in an area that has been designated as "semi rural" and "discourages sidewalks, curbs and gutters." -- "And the blind corner down by Linden is the big concern, again not the little one where you live. You should know this because the DPW explained it last year at the public meeting." The blind corner at Melrose is closest to the school. The currently proposed sidewalk design is going to narrow that intersection significantly and cause more congestion - in an area that is already congested in the mornings. It doesn't make any sense. Currently - the only people that park in that intersection are school staff and parents. Where are they going to park if this sidewalk is built?
Charles March 11, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Hey folks this is not a political primary so off with the negative vibes, slurs and nasty comments. Normaly in a community folks get together in a plannin workshop over the time it takes to work out a concept plan that evryone can buy into... WHY NOT CONSDIER ALTERNATIVS AND WEIGGH THEIR COSTS, BENEFITS, PROBLEMS AND OPPORTUNITY? 1. MHS traffic has increased traffic voliume by 100% (2005 MHS EIS) So MHS should van their students to school so they are not endangered by MHS drivers. 2. Petiton the county for a 15 mph speed limit on Evergreen as recommened by MHS 3. Build a 4'-0" wide on grade permeable asphalt pathway with a low 8" x 8" wooden barrier to keep cars in their place. 4. Make Evergreen one way between Ethel and Melrose so we can have a bike way and a wider driving lane ?
Mari March 12, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Frank - I really appreciate the Homestead history lesson. It's obvious that some people know how to work the system to their advantage, and I can understand why you and Mr. Sands and so many other neighbors who email me privately are fed up with the school's management. They have an agenda - that is, to adhere to the requirements of the Use Permit or Traffic plan or whatever, no matter what that means for the neighborhood - or the environment. Honestly - most of the parents at the Board of Trustees meeting seemed concerned about the storm water runoff and the fact that it will affect the endangered species. I was disappointed that I was told to wrap it up 15 minutes before "public time" was up. There was no one else there to speak during public time!
Rebecca March 12, 2012 at 12:37 AM
@HV Minority This is my favorite part ----> "the beauty that the sidewalk is going to bringing." Nice grammar and proof reading! No I don't like garbage, nor do I live in it. I would not live in a garbage pit or a creek, I am an adult civilized person. You are very mature, almost as mature as the silly arguments you make. I know what one single neighbor/house on the street that you are referring to, and that is not something that can be helped. If you want to judge people with obvious mental problems (OCD) or people who are poor for the condition of their homes- it really has nothing to do with what we are talking about. It is a completely separate issue. Let's spend some of the 900,000 to clean up the existing sidewalk and make it more beautiful. Funny how I thought this was about SAFETY though? Huh, thats really funny. Yuppies are so concerned with their images that they actually care about what the neighborhoods (that they do not live in) but that their children go to school in looks like! Thanks for caring, you're very sweet, but NO.
Rebecca March 12, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Don't bother Mari. They are not a Homestead Valley resident. Obviously if you have lived in Mill Valley you know what a beautiful special place it is and you hopefully enjoying hiking, being in nature, and enjoying the gorgeous views we get to see everyday all around us. I think both PRO and CON sides or the sidewalk should AND would agree that Reed Creek, just like Muir Woods, and Cascade Falls are all quite superior in beauty and importance to a 9,000 sq. Ft. CONCRETE SIDEWALK. And I would say anyone who feels differently IS THE LOON. ahem ----> HV MINORITY :)
Rebecca March 12, 2012 at 12:51 AM
AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAH SORRY BUT THE ABSURDITY OF THAT LAST COMMENT HAS ME IN STITCHES!!!! MARI TAMBURO-- SELFISH! WOW!!! small minded!!! ahaha (Could not be farther from the truth.) You obviously know NOTHING about this woman and ALL she does for both the local community, as well as the independent music industry, not to mention fundraising, advocating, and spreading history, knowledge, and love.
Mari March 12, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Do you think MHS is following its mission?? "Our mission is to challenge students to be self-reliant thinkers and lifelong learners. We inspire academic excellence, nurture students’ natural love of learning, and encourage them to be confident, creative individuals who are responsible to each other, the community, and the world. Our mission is built on the six cornerstones of Marin Horizon School, which influence daily work in every classroom: Love of Learning motivated by close, inspired relationships with a distinguished and innovative faculty that provides engaging experiences and encourages active involvement, wonder and discovery. Academic Excellence promoted by an integrated, spiraling curriculum that challenges young minds, fuels imagination and fosters a deeper understanding of concepts and their connection to real-life issues. Values-based Learning fostered by real experiences that develop social conscience, self-reliance, collaboration, and multicultural respect and competence. Dedication to Environment cultivated by exploring the interconnectedness of all life on earth and learning ways to protect, respect and live in harmony with the environment. Sense of Community nurtured by the support, commitment and dedication of parents, teachers, students and neighbors working together. Respect for Diversity promoted by awareness of and responsibility to each other within our community and the world."
Rebecca March 12, 2012 at 07:18 PM
We DO want an alternative.
Rebecca March 12, 2012 at 07:21 PM
We care about kids. A lot actually. The kids are not the ones who want a sidewalk. This is a grown up politically-dirty "sidejob" that is unwanted and being pushed upon us. Nature is also important to me. So is Reed Creek, as it always has been for the last 26 years.
HV Majority October 05, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Mari, you are truly clueless. A long time ago I realized the best response to a question I didn't know the answer to was to say "I don't know." You, on the other hand, seem to think it's better to make things up when you don't know the answer. No, I'm not HB, no I don't live on Linden, no I don't have two little girls who go to MHS and no, I didn't write my name across from your house. You are not seeing "clearly" you're making things up, as usual. Also, no, the school didn't hide the notice, they put it where they were told only to have the city change its mind and indicate it wasn't visible enough. And no, the move isn't due to parking. Do you think they're just going to shrink the number of students at the school? And no, the sidewalk isn't an eyesore, it is a very much welcomed addition to the street. Branch out from your tiny little circle of malcontents and you might hear how much in the minority you are. You want to go forward, that's great. But keep up with this nonsense and no one is going to go with you.
Mari October 05, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Well, thanks for that. What a relief, because she seems like a nice person who cares about both her community and school. I do want to go forward. But it's a bit hard to do when some folks are so busy defending themselves, or holding onto old ways, that they refuse to be truly OPEN and honest. Which starts with an open dialogue - and actually knowing who is doing the talking.
Mari October 05, 2012 at 07:01 PM
I believe you Hanne, and I'm sorry. I'm doing my best not to be negative, but every day, people come to me upset about the sidewalk.
Mari October 05, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I'm just the messenger. I expressed some frustration over the lack of respect that has been shown to our neighbors. Everyone has a right to their opinion. But they don't have a right to force something on a community. I guess that time will tell. i should have realized it wasn't you - because they spelled your name incorrectly! Let's move on.
Mari October 05, 2012 at 07:15 PM
excuse me "onto"
Mari October 05, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Here - this article might help some folks : http://www.uncommonhelp.me/articles/stop-being-so-defensive/
Mari October 06, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Hey Rebecca - want to help out with a Thriller dance flash mob to help raise funds for Kiddo ?

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