Easy Grade Trail Change-In-Use
The California Department of Parks and Recreation has received a request to open the Easy Grade Trail in Mount Tamalpais State Park to use by bicyclists. Currently the trail is open to hiking only. The Department is using its “Change-In-Use” process to evaluate the request. To date, existing conditions have been evaluated; a preliminary evaluation of potential impacts has been completed; public meetings to solicit input from trail users have been held; and a final determination has been made by the District Superintendent to proceed with implementing the request. The change-in-use evaluation and summary report are available for download.
The change-in-use request has been evaluated and approved for additional action. Focus is now on developing appropriate design modifications to accommodate the use in a safe and sustainable way.
1. The first step toward developing trail design modifications is to identify funding to conduct required resource surveys for sensitive plant species along the trail corridor. Funding will also be needed for required development permits.
2. In addition to plant surveys, an additional public meeting will be held to solicit input on the trail re-design. Information about the public meeting will be posted on this webpage when it is available.
3. Once the re-design has been finalized, a Project Evaluation Form will be completed to determine the necessary steps and documentation required for CEQA and permitting compliance. Determination of compatibility with the Program Environmental Impact Report for change-in-use evaluations will occur at this stage. (Please see the Department’s Change-in-Use webpage for further details on this report.)
4. Concurrent with CEQA compliance, the Department can begin to acquire necessary regulatory permits, which may take six to 18 months to complete.
5. While permits are being acquired, the Department will finalize a construction cost estimate and work plan, and begin to identify potential project implementation funding sources.
6. Due to the presence of sensitive animal species such as the spotted owl, it is likely that construction will be limited to fall and winter months.
The tentative timeline to project implementation is as follows:
Spring - Summer 2017 - Complete plant surveys and conduct public meeting
Fall 2017 - Winter 2018 - Finalize trail re-design and complete CEQA compliance
Winter - Summer 2018 - Secure required regulatory permits.
Summer - Fall 2018 - Develop construction cost estimate and work plan; identify funding
Fall 2018 - Implement construction per regulatory permits (dependent on the availability of funding)
Summer 2019 - Trail open for bike use
Please note that this timeline is tentative and dependent on funding and the completion of each step in a timely manner. A delay in any portion of this timeline will likely result in a delay to the entire timeline.
The Department will continue to provide updates to this webpage as the project proceeds.