Drawing more than one million visitors each year, the Muir Woods National Park is facing some tough choices on how to address parking options.
According to the Marin IJ, getting to the park can be an ordeal at busy times and parking at the site can be hard to find. Motorists often end up parking on shoulders outside the main lot along Muir Woods Road. So for the first time in more than a decade, the park service has begun discussing options that could include a parking reservation system, similar to the tickets needed to ride a ferry to Alcatraz.
The Marin IJ reported more 100 people packed Tamalpais Valley Elementary School this past Wed. to comment on park service plans to thin the crowds that stream through their neighborhoods and into the national monument.
The proposed solution includes a shuttle that would run between a 180-vehicle parking lot on Panoramic Highway, near the Dias Ridge trailhead, and Muir Woods and was reportedly received with mix reviews.
In a recent letter from the Muir Woods Park Community Association (MWPCA) Board President Peter Hindley, some area residents expressed concerns over additional traffic problems the proposals will create, stating, “it is clear from the traffic mess at the existing MWNM that parking lots and shuttle services do not necessarily solve parking problems.”
Hindley’s memo read, “Some area residents envision cars lining Panoramic from Four Corners to the junction of Highway 1 with slower traffic as motorists look for parking opportunities, illegal U-turns, pedestrians crossing Panoramic, garbage, etc. It seems inevitable that the added traffic south of Four Corners will spill over to Panoramic and other streets north of Four Corners, exacerbating an already difficult parking situation. In other words, reducing parking problems for MWNM will add to parking problems in our neighborhood.”
The letter concluded, “The MWPCA Board of Directors opposes the development of a large parking lot and related shuttle service to Muir Woods National Monument on Panoramic Highway.”
The park service is accepting comments on the Muir Woods parking plan through Oct. 4 online by clicking here or in writing to: GGNRA, Attn: Muir Woods Transportation Projects, Fort Mason, Building 201, San Francisco 94123. A second meeting is tentatively set for Nov. 20, time and location to be announced.