November 4, 2016
Contact: Nathan Hale Sargent
Public Comment Period Now Open for Project Related to Muir Woods Parking, Transit, and Pedestrian Access
MILL VALLEY - The National Park Service (NPS) today released a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Muir Woods National Monument Sustainable Access Project. The Draft EA is now open for a 30-day period of public review and comment, closing December 5.
The Sustainable Access Project is designed to enhance the visitor experience and ensure the protection of park resources in the Redwood Creek watershed by improving parking, transit, and pedestrian access at Muir Woods.
"The Sustainable Access Project implements the vision of a safe and inspirational arrival at Muir Woods while enhancing the protection of precious natural resources in the Redwood Creek watershed," said Aaron Roth, Acting General Superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. "This project plan eliminates roadside parking, upgrades storm water management, and improves pedestrian paths, which are all key to achieving this vision."
The Draft EA released today describes the need for the Sustainable Access Project, analyzes the environmental outcomes of several possible project actions, and identifies the NPS preferred alternative.
The preferred alternative redesigns and organizes the monument’s entry plaza and parking areas to create a more intuitive, safe, and enjoyable arrival experience. The front entry plaza and main lot would be redesigned to eliminate private vehicles (except ADA), providing separation from buses.
A former nursery lot/maintenance yard would be converted into a small parking area, providing the opportunity to remove all roadside parking from Muir Woods Road (Frank Valley Road) and improve safety.
The Draft EA preferred alternative also includes: actions to capture storm water runoff from parking areas before it enters the creek; a new woodland pedestrian trail to facilitate safe passage from parking areas to the entry plaza; and a new Dipsea Trail footbridge over Redwood Creek.
The Sustainable Access Project began with public scoping and comment in 2013 and was the topic of a public meeting on June 27, 2016, in Mill Valley. Funding for the project will originate from Recreational User Fees collected at Muir Woods and Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP) funds.
The Sustainable Access Project is an important part of a family of projects in the Redwood Creek watershed to ensure a high level of visitor experience and enhanced protection of park resources.
Concurrent projects include the Muir Woods National Monument Reservation System, which will manage motorized vehicle access to reduce peak visitation levels beginning Fall 2017 (estimated), and the Salmon Habitat Enhancement & Bridge Replacement Project, which will restore habitat in Redwood Creek for aquatic life, including the endangered Coho salmon.
The Draft Environmental Assessment was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act, and in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies.
To access the Muir Woods National Monument Sustainable Access Project Environmental Assessment and submit comment, visit https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=48923.
Written comments can be mailed to:
ATTN: Muir Woods Sustainable Access Project EA
Fort Mason, Building 201
San Francisco, CA 94123