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Miller Avenue Streetscape Project

City Preps Restriping on Miller Avenue to Test Back-in Parking

Back-In Angle Parking v300

Looking to make Miller Avenue safer for everyone who uses it, the City of Mill Valley is set to test back-in angled parking along one stretch of the roadway, starting this week. The restriping is one of a number of interim improvements the City is making in advance of its comprehensive Miller Avenue Streetscape Project overhaul of the roadway beginning in 2015.

City workers are currently restriping 10 parking spaces along the section of outbound Miller Avenue from Reed Street to just west of Camino Alto. The restriping switches those spaces from traditional front-in angled parking to back-in angled parking, a setup that is now being used in more than 100 U.S. cities to increase safety and convenience.

“It’s easier than parallel parking and safer for everyone who shares Miller Avenue,” Public Works Director Jill Barnes said, noting that the City will be testing back-in angled parking for the next several months and will be gathering community input and refining the design as needed. Have you tried out the back angle parking? Click here to take our survey.

The shift to back-in angled parking is particularly important because of the layout of that section of Miller Avenue from the median to the curb, with two lanes of outbound traffic, then the bike lane and then the angled parking. The new setup allows drivers to avoid blindly backing into oncoming car and bicycle traffic.

Instead of pulling forward into the angled parking space and later backing out with limited sight distance of oncoming vehicles and bicycles, drivers 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.

Test Diagonal ParkingThis 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.

Click here to download an informational flyer.

The back-in angled parking program is one component of the interim improvements being implemented in 2014 in advance of the Miller Avenue Streetscape Project, which is expected to begin in late 2015. The other interim improvements include:

  • Restriping vehicle and bike lanes on Miller Avenue between Sunnyside Avenue and Millwood Street in each direction to transform that section from two traffic lanes in each direction into one traffic lane and one buffered bicycle lane in each direction.
  • 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.
  • Localized improvements along Miller Avenue, including repairing potholes and refreshing bicycle lane striping.

Also over the next several months, 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.

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.

Here is a great video from the City of Austin about Back-In Angle Parking.


Miller Ave Streetscape Project Logo Final v150

Miller Avenue is a central corridor serving multiple uses for residents and visitors of Mill Valley. The avenue is also recognized as an essential source of community character – embodying the unique features of this town and the natural beauty of Mount Tamalpais. As such, the Miller Avenue Streetscape Project will balance the need of safety improvements with streetscape amenities while preserving its character, history and beauty.

Streetscape Plan Primary Goals:
~ Improve multi-modal transportation
~ Preserve and enhance ecology and landscape

Streetscape Plan Secondary Goals:
~ Recognize cultural features and character
~ Repair Infrastructure

Technical studies completed in 2013 include topographic, boundary, and utility surveys, pavement distress survey, exploration and testing of subsurface soils, pavement deflection testing, and video inspection and modeling of sanitary sewer system.

Timeline of recent events and projected upcoming milestones:

  • March 2013 – City Council authorization of contract for design services, financing plan and phasing plan services. Present interim improvement plan.
  • February 2014 – Initial briefing and an update on design progress, construction cost estimates, phasing and project options presented to City Council. Formation of Streetscape Project committee (Mayor, Vice Mayor, City Manager, Director of DPW, Finance Director and Design Consultant).
  • July 2014 – Award consultant for interim improvements. City Council approval of streetscape components, financing, and phasing plan.
  • September 2014 - Conduct interim improvements on Miller Avenue to include bike facility improvements, and test back-in angle parking.
  • October 2014 – Present financing, and phasing plan to City Council.
  • Fall 2014 and ongoing – Implement an outreach strategy with residents and businesses to receive input on details, options and accommodations for streetscape improvements.
  • Fall 2014 – Coordination with public utility companies for relocation and upgrades of infrastructure.
  • Fall/Winter 2014/2015 – Public utility construction and final Miller Avenue Streetscape Design.
  • Fall 2015 – Begin Miller Avenue Streetscape Improvements.
  • Late 2017 – Improvements complete.

To learn more:
On Monday, February 3, 2014, the Mill Valley City Council received a preliminary introductory presentation on the Miller Avenue Streetscape Project Implementation Plan. The intention of this initial overview was to provide the Council with an informal update on the project and for the Council to offer initial input and direction prior to a formal public presentation in the spring.

group work 3Download the meeting documents:

Additional information:

Stay informed by checking the City website and signing up for electronic notifications of travel conditions and alerts.

  • Sign up for eNews and select the "Miller Avenue Streetscape Project" button.
  • Follow us on Twitter: for updates, alerts and news.
  • Bookmark this page and visit often for construction schedules, updates, maps, and more.

Miller Avenue Business Survey
Is your business on or near Miller Avenue? This project will impact your business operations, customers, employees, and delivery services with traffic delays and parking restrictions. City staff will make every effort to minimize impacts to the businesses community – but they need your help.

City staff is in the process of writing the construction plan and budgeting for this important project, and now is the time to give them input and feedback on your needs. City engineers need to know about you, your business, and any special accommodations that you may need, such as special provisions for noise, parking, path of travel, and hours of operation.   

Please take a moment to fill out the Miller Avenue Business Survey. Thank you!