The past seven months has seen the Great Highway, astride the Pacific Ocean, turn into a thoroughfare for cyclists, runners and pedestrians of all ages.
It is one of the best things which has happened to San Francisco in this cataclysmic 2020.
Now out of a craven cave-in to motorists you want to end it.
I am shocked and disgusted and disappointed that you would even think of reopening the Great Highway to environment destruction with cars. Particularly since you are one who advocated for this move which let car owners know they don’t rule the world.
Who bent your ear?
Let car owners Deal with It and be forced to go out of their way.
How can you call yourself a “progressive” ever again? I’m disgusted.
You are showing yourself to be just another cynical typical pol who bows and genuflects to the car.
Shame on you.
San Francisco Examiner 11.13.2020
Supervisor Gordon Mar, whose district encompasses the Outer Sunset, has demanded action to address speeding and congestion around the currently car-free Great Highway.
Without it, Mar said he will no longer support the ongoing, temporary closure of the Great Highway to vehicles, a move his office actually asked for back in April in order to provide space for socially distant recreation.
Since April, when it was closed to traffic, the Great Highway has been embraced as a new kind of public place for San Francisco residents, not just as an outdoor haven for thousands of people and families from all over The City but also as the backdrop for community-building, marches for social justice and public art. Some residents have even pushed to make it car-free on a permanent basis.
San Francisco’s westernmost coastline at Ocean Beach has always been an iconic destination for visitors and residents alike.
“But we cannot sacrifice safety for recreation, and I cannot continue to support the temporary closure of the Great Highway if we cannot make it safe for my constituents in the near-term,” Mar wrote in a letter to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors, Executive Director Jeffrey Tumlin and a number of staff members Tuesday.
The District Four office’s letter is a formal request for the transit agency to dedicate some of its technical expertise and staff time to mitigating the traffic impacts that have spilled over onto surrounding neighborhood streets in the Outer Sunset.
“We want SFMTA to move with the same urgency on pedestrian safety and traffic calming as they have with closing the Great Highway,” said Edward Wright, one of Mar’s legislative aids.
SFMTA spokesperson Kristen Holland said the agency had been in contact with Mar’s office, and that multiple staff members would be participating in a virtual town hall on the topic Friday afternoon.
“We take the concerns of the Supervisor and the residents of District Four very seriously. We will be responding to him and to his constituents after a discussion in today’s town hall meeting,” she said. “We appreciate our ongoing coordination with the Supervisor’s Office.”
At the same time, the closure has resulted in traffic moving to nearby streets that aren’t equipped for the high volume of high speed cars traveling north to south, and Mar says it’s making neighbors who live, play and work on the surrounding residential streets feel unsafe.
Over 5,000 cars each day are traveling along nearby Lower Great Highway, with a “significant percentage” of those cars driving at unsafe speeds, according to the District Four Mobility Study out of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.
Though SFMTA implemented new detour signs and new turn restrictions to redirect traffic to Sunset Boulevard, some weeks after the Great Highway went car-free, these ideas emanated from Mar’s office rather than traffic engineers, and Mar remains “unconvinced that these are sufficient to address the real and urgent safety concerns.”