For the first time in six years, the City of Mill Valley is set to update its Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan, a document that sets priorities for making the City safer and more accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians and outlines specific ways to do so.
The first public meeting on the update is the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC)'s meeting on May 21 at City Hall at 7 p.m. At least two other public meetings on the subject will follow in 2014, and the City wants to hear from residents about their top bicycle and pedestrian concerns and priorities.
The plan, which was derived from a list of goals and projects created in 1982 and was updated in 2003 and again in 2008, focuses on developing a primary network of bikeways, bicycle facility enhancements, bicycle programs and safety improvements, as well as walkways to help ensure good connectivity between destinations such as transit, neighborhoods, employment destinations, parks, shopping, and neighboring cities.
The 2003 and 2008 updates recognized "that bicycling and walking have a critical role to play in Mill Valley's transportation picture." The 2008 plan specifically identified places where the construction of new paths could make Mill Valley safer and more accessible for bicyclists and pedestrians, and the City then successfully won grant funding to build those projects. For instance, the City is set to finish building bike-ped paths along Camino Alto between Miller and Sycamore avenues and along Sycamore Avenue between Camino Alto and the Mill Valley-Sausalito Multi-Use Path by September 2014.
"The City's Bike-Ped Plan is a critical component of our ongoing efforts to make Mill Valley safer and more accessible for bicyclists and pedestrians," Mill Valley Mayor Stephanie Moulton-Peters said. "This update is the community's opportunity to let us know the major bike-ped priorities and the specific improvements they would like to see. These ideas will shape the future of walking and biking in Mill Valley for the years to come. Please add your voice to the conversation!"
The update of the plan is part of a Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) Project to coordinate the bike-ped plan updates of eight cities and towns in Marin as well as the County of Marin. The updates are being paid for by $200,000 in One Bay Area grant funding via the nine-county Metropolitan Transportation Commission, approved by the TAM board in November 2012. The update is divided into two phases, and Mill Valley is included in phase 1. The City plans to have a draft plan by December 2014 and a final document by February 2015.
TAM chose Alta Planning + Design, the firm that conducted the 2008 update of the Mill Valley Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan, to do the updates at a cost of $170,000, with $30,000 leftover from the grant for outreach and contingency funding. Alta will lead Mill Valley's update with the City's BPAC advising it along the way and public input playing a critical role as well.
As a result of the updates, each municipality's plan must include
- Updated maps and data to comply with guidelines of California's Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA), a program folded into the state's new Active Transportation Program (ATP)
- Further development of the pedestrian components of the bicycle/pedestrian plans
- Identification of regional connectivity gaps, and proposed gap improvement project
- Revised list of prioritized improvements including current engineering cost estimates
- Other topics on local interests such as bicycle parking and impacts to tourism
The 2008 update of the Mill Valley Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan concluded: "It is important for Mill Valley to encourage bicycling and walking because these modes contribute to both a healthy personal lifestyle and the health of the entire City through lessened traffic congestion, reduced vehicle exhaust emissions, decreased noise levels, and a reduction in land dedicated towards automobile parking. Bicycling and walking also present residents with the opportunity to more easily socialize in public spaces, something that is sometime made more difficult by being confined in an automobile."
The City welcomes your input. Here are some opportunities to participate:
- Attend the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting on May 21 at City Hall at 7 p.m. The meeting will also be webcast live and recorded for on-demand viewing.
- Send written comments via mail: Public Works Department, 26 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley, CA 94941.
- Send written comments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write "Bike-Ped Plan" in the subject line.
We thank you in advance for your constructive input to help guide the process, and we look forward to hearing from you either in-person at the upcoming meetings or via written comments.
- 2008 update of the Mill Valley Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan
- Information on the City's Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee