San Francisco Great Highway at the Pacific to remain a car free zone.

I am stunningly happy and beyond joyful that San Francisco has decided to keep cars off the Great Highway.  This decision, along with the closure of Golden Gate Park to cars, is the most environmentally positive decision taken by San Francisco government in my lifetime.

Excerpted from San Francisco Examiner 2.4.2021

A traffic calming plan approved by San Francisco will have no bearing on the current vehicle-free status of the Upper Great Highway.

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SFMTA data shows nearly 4,000 people each weekday and more than 12,000 each weekend enjoy car-free activity along the Great Highway. Advocates have called for it to be permanently closed to vehicles, and some have even floated the idea of turning it into a state-of-the art public park.

Officials simply hope it will help make everyone who enjoys, plays or lives near one of San Francisco’s crown jewels feel safer.

Following an outcry over the traffic impacts of closing the Great Highway to cars, city officials announced on Wednesday a comprehensive set of traffic safety measures that they believe will mitigate the negative impacts on surrounding streets.

Supervisor Gordon Mar, whose district encompasses the Outer Sunset, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and other stakeholders have negotiated a deal to install dozens of traffic calming tools over the next two months around the Lower Great Highway.

Great Highway VI 11.15.2020

Measures include 24 new speed cushions, 12 all-way stop signs, six changeable message signs to divert traffic to main corridors and one speed table, as well as a commitment to provide traffic enforcement on each weekend day for the next six weeks and additional deployment of parking control officers.

Implementation will begin as early as March, and all infrastructure should be installed by April 31.

“The transformation of the Great Highway has provided tremendous benefits, but safety always must come first,” Mar said in a statement. “We can’t sacrifice safety for recreation, and I believe with this plan we can have both.”

Great Highway I 11.15.2020

Mar originally supported the closure of the Upper Great Highway to vehicles in April 2020 as a way to provide space for socially distant recreation. Since then, it’s been embraced as a new kind of public space, not just as an outdoor haven for thousands of people and families from all over The City, but also as a backdrop for community-building, marches for social justice and public art.
Photos – Lee Heidhues