What will the new Miller Avenue look like?
Locust Avenue Outbound
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Approved Project Plans* - We are pleased to provide these plans for community review. They are organized by "Room" and span the entire street. The Rooms are listed in order from Downtown Mill Valley moving towards Tamalpais High School.
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|Passage||Sunnyside Avenue (Downtown) to Millwood Street (end of the Lumber Yard)|
|Parkway||Millwood Street (end of the Lumber Yard) to Willow Street (Critterland Pets)|
|Mainstreet||Willow Street (7/11) to Reed Street (Super Duper Burgers)|
|Gateway||Valley Circle (Tamalpie) to Camino Alto (Safeway)|
|Marsh||Camino Alto (Tamalpais High School) to Almonte Boulevard (end of the Tam football field).|
* Please note that the final, adopted plans provided here are subject to some minor changes based on issues that may come up in the course of this 18 month construction project.
Why were the trees on Miller Avenue cut down?
The streetscape plan, which was created by community members over a period of 10 years, requires moving some of the medians and crosswalks, and the removal of some trees was impossible to avoid. As part of the reconstruction and realignment of the roadway, 50 trees were removed from the central section of Miller Avenue, what we call “Main Street” - between Willow Street to Reed and Valley Circle. 38 trees were preserved (including many Redwood trees), and 142 new trees will be planted in this section.
While it is difficult to see trees removed, these street trees had many issues, including poor growing conditions and inadequate space. Most were nearing the end of their expected lifespan. Other trees were not appropriate for the urban street environment, including a number of Liquidambars that have very aggressive roots and routinely uplift, crack, and buckle sidewalks, requiring ongoing expensive repairs.
The removal of the trees will allow for 142 new trees to be planted in a more appropriate size and scale for the street. These trees were chosen to enhance the view of Mount Tamalpais as well as to complement this primarily commercial and pedestrian zone of Miller Avenue. See below for more details about the new trees.
Will the City plant new trees?
Yes - We have worked with landscape architects to carefully create a replanting plan that will add 142 new trees in the Main Street section of Miller Avenue. When the project is done the total number of trees in this section will increase from 88 to 180.
The species have been chosen with careful consideration for size, aesthetic appeal, coordination with preserved trees and other city trees, and ability to withstand their tough environs. Our Parks Supervisors have worked with the landscape architect from the start of the planning process, ten years ago, through final plan approval.
The new trees include Locust trees, Eastern Redbuds, and Red Maples, among others. The Locust trees are robust and fast growing. Eastern Redbuds put on a prolific display in the spring; Red Maples, which give spectacular fall color and are doing well as a new street tree that we have begun planting to replace fallen Liquidambars in other parts of the City. Crepe Myrtle will give color through the summer with the Locusts, and various native trees like California Sycamore, Big Leaf Maple, Coast Live Oak and California Buckeye are also included in the new planting plan.
Of course, these will take some years to reach maturity, and we will do our part to maintain them. We will enjoy being able to watch these trees grow and become part of urban forest and City’s heritage for years and generations to come.