Liz and Lee Heidhues 8.13.2021
As Easy as Stealing Candy from A Baby.
The voters of District 1 have been played and betrayed by a “Progressive” Supervisor who campaigned on the vow: “I pledge not to take ANY contributions from oil, gas, and coal industry executives, lobbyists, and PACs and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits” #NoFossilFuelMoney.
Supervisor Connie Chan, the faux progressive, must walk away from her backroom deal with Mayor London Breed to steal The Great Walkway from the People of San Francisco.
It was as easy for Ms. Chan to steal the possibilities for a green and safe transportation corridor as it is for an unscrupulous person to steal candy from a baby. Stealing candy from the proverbial baby .. in this instance thousands of adults and children.. is what Supervisor Connie Chan did by acting as a co-conspirator to secretly reopen The Great Walkway to cars.
In her zeal to allow cars onto The Great Walkway Supervisor Chan sabotaged the negotiation process, in which she was a participant, between advocates of The Great Walkway and City officials. Ms. Chan secretly met with Mayor Breed to trash the Mayor’s own pandemic emergency order and return The Great Walkway to its pre-pandemic status of an auto freeway.
Ms. Chan knew the decision does not have to gain approval before the full Board of Supervisors. The unilateral decision was permitted under the vast emergency powers The Mayor granted herself during the pandemic.
Ms. Chan’s backroom deal to reopen The Great Walkway to cars was announced while the Board of Supervisors was on summer recess. Ms. Chan knew this unilateral decision would be controversial. It would have generated fierce debate. A debate Ms. Chan wanted to avoid.
Supervisor Chan’s move to reopen The Great Walkway to cars is redolent of autocracy, special interests, and complete disregard for the needs and rights of her diverse constituents – Many of her constituents feel motorists do not have the presumptive right to inhabit every street in San Francisco.
Her decision invalidates the needs of her constituents. She has a responsibility to meet Vision Zero goals by creating safe environments for children and adults to pursue recreational and social goals.
Supervisor Chan misrepresents the reasons for reopening The Great Walkway to cars. She argues this strip is essential for parents to take their kids to school by car. Families in District 1 do not have a practical way to take their kids to school by car using the roadway. There are no exits between Lincoln Way and Sloat Boulevard where Sunset District schools are located. Only 6.4% of Richmond District students go to school in the Sunset district.
Furthermore, Supervisor Chan’s argument that closing the roadway to cars pushes cars into the critical green space of Golden Gate Park is specious and misleading.
We have been running, bicycling, or walking through Golden Gate Park to shop in the Sunset District since 1972. We have witnessed cars violating the sanctuary of the Park for nearly 50 years. Motorists drive around barriers, speed on JFK Drive, kill bicyclists in accidents (such as Heather Miller), and park freely on trails meant only for pedestrians.
This photo montage takes you on a trip down The Great Walkway to illustrate how the roadway is used and enjoyed in a sustainable way.
Photos and adapted Brian O’Meara Cartoon – Liz Heidhues