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Miller Avenue Streetscape Interim Improvements
Posted Date: 8/14/2014

Miller Ave Streetscape Project Logo Final v150The City of Mill Valley is pleased to announce the commencement of the first phase of the Miller Avenue Streetscape Project. The initial phase will include implementation of some new interim streetscape components to improve parking, traffic and pedestrian safety. These include:

  • Restriping vehicle and bike lanes on Miller Avenue between Sunnyside Avenue and Millwood Street in each direction,
  • Installing rectangular rapid flash beacons at the intersection of Evergreen and Miller Avenues, and 
  • Striping reverse angle parking along outbound Miller Avenue from Reed Street to just west of Camino Alto. This is a pilot project to test the viability of back-in parking at certain locations on Miller Avenue.

In addition to implementation of the above streetscape components, City engineers plan to make localized improvements along Miller Avenue, including repairing potholes and refreshing bicycle lane striping.

Timeframe for Interim Improvements
The installation of the interim improvements will take place in early September. This fall and winter, City staff will receive community input on the reverse angle parking concept and refine the design as needed. Also this fall and winter, City staff will coordinate a broad public outreach effort to communicate the planned improvements and gain community feedback. We will also coordinate with public utility companies for relocation and upgrades of their infrastructure. Staff will refine the design concepts and commence construction of the full Miller Avenue Streetscape Project in late 2015.

Here are some additional details on the improvements being made on Miller Avenue starting in August:

Consistent with the adopted Miller Avenue Streetscape Master Plan, the City plans to restripe each direction of Miller Avenue between Sunnyside Avenue and Millwood Street from two traffic lanes in each direction to one traffic lane and one buffered bicycle lane in each direction. Referred to as the Passage room in the Master Plan, the change provides additional area to provide separated bicycle lanes with buffers. City engineers verified that a lane removal would not increase daily congestion or decrease safety. Furthermore, City engineers confirmed the modifications would accommodate emergency vehicles.

Existing Road Conditions Miller Ave - Passage v250 Road with Improvements Miller Avenue Passage v250
Existing Road Conditions  Road with Improvements

The second improvement includes installing rectangular rapid flash beacons at the intersection of Evergreen and Miller Avenues. These devices feature flashing lights activated by crosswalk users. The beacons are highly visible to approaching motorists. These measures improve safety by increasing motorists’ awareness of pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Test Diagonal Parking v250Finally, the City plans to test striping of reverse angle parking along outbound Miller Avenue from Reed Street to just west of Camino Alto. Instead of pulling forward into the parking stall and later backing out with limited sight distance of oncoming vehicles and bicycles, motorists will back into their spots first, and later pull directly into the traffic lane after making direct eye contact with oncoming traffic when exiting the parking stalls. This option eliminates the challenge of backing into moving traffic while providing an increase in the field of vision, enhancing safety for motorists pulling out from the parking space, as well as for oncoming motorized and bicycle traffic. Making a back-in parking maneuver is easier than making a parallel parking maneuver. Back-in angled parking is now being used in more than 100 U.S. cities to increase safety and convenience.

Background and History
The Miller Avenue Streetscape Project has a long history. Here’s more information about the project:

Guided by its Core Values to preserve health and safety and the community's high quality of life, the Mill Valley City Council established the maintenance and enhancement of City infrastructure as one of its Key Issues. The City Council identified the Miller Avenue Streetscape Project as a Priority Project for 2014.

In 2011 the Mill Valley City Council adopted the Miller Avenue Streetscape Master Plan with the goal of improving multi-modal transportation, preserving and enhancing ecology and landscape, recognizing cultural features and character, and repairing infrastructure. Input and dialogue with the community was continuous throughout the process of developing the Master Plan, which included the suggestion to implement certain low-cost treatments prior to construction of the final streetscape.

The Miller Avenue Streetscape Interim Improvements are funded by the Transportation Authority of Marin’s Measure A program, which provides $151,000 to this project. Funding for the full Miller Avenue Streetscape Project come from several sources, with the majority from Measure A, administered by the Transportation Authority of Marin, and the City of Mill Valley Municipal Services Tax.

Learn More:
There are a number of ways you may participate, give input and learn more:

We thank you in advance for your constructive input, and we look forward to hearing from you either in-person at the September meeting or via written comments.