Mill Valley, CA
Lead Landscape Architect: John Gibbs, ASLA, LEED AP
Client: City of Mill Valley
"An episodic journey" was how one member of the community described Miller Avenue in Mill Valley to the design team. "Keep the quirks" was what another implored, referencing the oddities of old redwoods interrupting curbs and widened sections of roadway where rail stations once stood. And the common refrain of "the character is already here" was heard time and time again from residents who cherish the views to Mount Tamalpais, the meandering creeks, connecting public stairs, and the verdant forested hills. These ideas guided the design team through five years of master planning and the detailed design of this main route into downtown Mill Valley. The project purpose was to create a complete street while addressing critical safety concerns and major infrastructure repair. We immediately recognized that achieving these goals would necessitate total reconstruction of the street including tree removal. Our challenge became how to deliver a brand-new multi-modal corridor that a skeptical community would embrace as a natural fit , as though new was old.