MILL VALLEY, Calif. - Mill Valley is teaming with Google researchers to organize an evacuation drill aimed at improving the city's evacuation response.
Hundreds of residents are expected to participate in Saturday's drill, lining their cars along East Blythedale Avenue to create gridlock. Then facilitators will time how fast they can clear traffic by directing cars to a nearby fire-safe space.
"We have seen that chaos on the roadways in other disasters. Within the state of California, within the Oakland Hills, within the city of Santa Rosa with the Tubbs Fire," said Mill Valley Police Chief Rick Navarro.
Google will also use its research and technology to help Mill Valley with its evacuation plan.
"We are going to run that drill with real cars on Saturday. Time it. And give that information to Google so they can then run scenarios to help us decide if this is a good idea," said Mayor John McCauley.
"These streets were built around the turn of the century when we still had horses and buggies. Since that time, we have remodeled homes to be much larger," said Battalion Chief Michael St. John.
"Our latest theory is that we have two main roads in town and both those will be jammed up," said McCauley.
The city is hoping that more residents volunteer to participate. Those interested can sign-up here.