Multi-Use Path Safety Concerns and Actions

May 9, 2019

The City of Mill Valley has become aware of raised concerns regarding safety on the Mill Valley/Sausalito Multi-Use Path. Recent accidents and near misses highlight the need for immediate action to inform cyclists of the safety rules along the path and enhanced and sustained enforcement to ensure that these rules are effective. This is not a new topic for our community - and it is important that we pay regular attention to safety on the path with frequent communications and reminders.

The Multi-Use Path is under the jurisdiction of Marin County Parks, which maintains the path and much of the Bothin Marsh Open Space Preserve. The City is working collaboratively with Marin County Parks and the Marin County Sheriff's Office on outreach, education and enforcement. Some recent law enforcement actions include:

  • Coordinating regular law enforcement patrols with agency partners. Additional patrols are underway, with officers issuing citations and warnings.
  • Making multiple checks daily, with one dedicated bicycle officer on patrol during evening commute hours.
  • Placing advisory signs and promoting the “Share the Path” outreach campaign.

One of the key issues on the path is its diverse range of users, from cyclists who prefer faster speeds, to cyclists and pedestrians of all ages and ability levels who appreciate a slower pace on the path. Working with citizen advisory groups such as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and community organizations such as Safe Routes to Schools, the City has identified several infrastructure projects designed to divert the faster cyclists off the path and onto local roads. These projects include the Sycamore Avenue “sharrows,” the development of a roundabout at the intersection of the path and Sycamore Avenue, the recently completed Miller Avenue Streetscape Project, and the Camino Alto South End Bike Lanes Project.

The Camino Alto Bike Lanes - South End project will install Class II bike lanes on Camino Alto between Miller A venue and East Blithedale A venue, as well as traffic signal upgrades (Bicycle Detection, Pedestrian Push Buttons, Countdown Heads, etc.) at four signalized intersections along this corridor. Class II bike lanes along this corridor are identified as a priority project in the City's 2017 Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan. This arterial roadway is widely used by residents and visitors as it serves to connect various public institutions, the City Community Center, schools, the Mill Valley-Sausalito Multiuse Path and recreational areas. The roadway currently serves over 30,000 vehicles a day.

Through the installation of Class II bike lanes, the City is promoting the Camino Alto corridor as an alternative route to the Multi Use Path for faster cyclists and as a more direct route to and from the Camino Alto grade. The City has also installed signs to encourage cyclists who want to travel at faster speeds to divert off the path and onto local roads.

In upcoming weeks, Mill Valley and Central Marin Police motorcycle officers will be stationed on the path to provide education with emphasis on warnings for speed and unsafe passing. Additionally, the Community Engagement Team & Marin County Parks personnel will co-host a Tent Event and distribute information to cyclists and pedestrians regarding awareness and safety on the path.

Following the educational events and warning period, Mill Valley Police and Community Service Officer will continue with routine patrols and schedule enforcement operations and will issue citations for unsafe bicycle operations.

The health and safety of the Mill Valley community is one of the Core Values of the Mill Valley City Council, and Council members and staff are committed to taking quick action to address the safety issues presented by this popular and very active path frequented by our children, seniors and families. We ask that all users of the path show respect and consideration for the diverse users of the path - our seniors, visitors, and families. 

The information below is part of the coordinated “Share the Path” outreach campaign:

Share the Bike Path

As the weather begins to warm up the Multi-Use Path that runs between Mill Valley and Sausalito has begun to see an increase in users! We want to take a moment to remind those that use the Multi-Use Path to “Share the Path!” If you are a walker or runner, please stay to the right and keep your music turned down so you can hear others calling out to pass you. If you are walking your dog, remember that a leash is required on the Multi-Use Path. If you are a cyclist remember the speed limit is 15 MPH, except where marked in Mill Valley where you must slow to 10 MPH (between the dog park and the Mill Valley Community Center).

We encourage all cyclists who are riding in a group or riding for time to exit the path at Almonte or E. Blithedale. Depending on your direction, it would be best to utilize the streets of Miller Avenue and Camino Alto. This way you can use the Miller Avenue bicycle lane and keep up your speed to get the most out of your ride. We want all to remember to:

  • Use Safe Speeds!
  • Keep Right, Pass Left
  • Don't Block the Path
  • Call Out When Passing
  • Look and Listen
  • Use Lights at Night