As you’ll certainly recall unless you weren’t in Mill Valley at the time, there was quite the kerfuffle in 2022 around what Mill Valley residents might want to do with the former wiggle, i.e., the expansion of the sidewalk along the block of Miller between Sunnyside and Throckmorton avenues, which potentially freed up additional sidewalk dining and additional sidewalk real estate for merchants.

There were no shortage of good ideas for the additional plaza space freed up by the removal of the “wiggle.” 

Regardless of where you stood on the possible extension of Depot Plaza at the time, one thing was clear: Mill Valley residents, businesses, employees and Mill Valley-adjacents had thoughts, as City officials received more than 1,800 individual responses to the survey. That’s more responses than the city received on any issue in recent memory, according to officials. (Those who followed the Treehouse or Subway might disagree.)

The City of Mill Valley was in the midst of Downtown Project, a multi-year infrastructure project that sought to improve the overall flow and safety of cars, bikes and pedestrian travel in the downtown area. Phase 2 in 2021 largely focused on ADA access and safety improvements, primarily in the form of 17 new curb ramps and “bulb outs” that sought to narrow the road and shorten the distance pedestrians have to cover to cross the street. Those bulb-outs were installed on East Blithedale Ave., Sunnyside, Throckmorton Ave. and Corte Madera Avenue, the latter of which resulted in an outdoor seating area in front of Mill Valley Market due to the project requirement for a particularly large bulb-out.

City officials previously allowed the the Mill Valley Historical Society to temporarily place within that space a full-size model of the historic Engine No. 9, a 100-year-old steam engine that is the only surviving piece of the once world-famous Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods Railway. Others suggested the space be deployed for more outdoor gathering space, such as artistic bicycle racks, a fountain or water feature; a giant Chess board; landscaping; outdoor art; picnic tables or other seating; a small play structure; or a small stage for events.

The Parks & Recreation Commission voted 3-2 to empower then-Arts & Recreation Director Sean McGrew and his staff to further study the three aforementioned options in the coming months.


This week, the City Council backed an earlier plan to approve the Depot Plaza Expansion Project, authorize the City Manager to award the bid and execute a contract with the lowest responsive/responsible bidder and to use the remaining funds toward expanding the plaza.

Based on public feedback and to comply with various ADA regulations and 15 industry standards, the proposed project scope includes the following: Relocate existing driveway approach to correct the bottoming out issue; Relocate curb ramp to match new location of driveway approach and improve pedestrian crossing safety; Remove brick pavers/concrete bench at bus stop and install new concrete sidewalk that meets ADA path of travel and bus alighting area code requirements; Install brick pavers at the decomposed granite area.

The plan extends the existing ornamental fence along Miller Ave. to the southern point of the expanded plaza at Sunnyside and Miller; Install new planter area with irrigation and hedges from new fencing to end of new expanded brick paver area.

The current Depot Plaza Expansion Project budget required additional funding to complete installation and recommended as part of the proposed FY 24/25 budget for Council’s consideration, and city officials identified remaining $395,000 to complete the job.

Want to know what’s happening around town? Click here to subscribe to the Enjoy Mill Valley Blog by Email!