Lee Heidhues with artwork by Liz Heidhues 9.23.2021
A special Environmental Shame Hall of Fame award is in order for the San Francisco legislator who has done more than any politician in 2021 to wreak havoc on the City’s reputation for being a leader in environmental issues.
Supervisor Connie Chan has almost single handedly destroyed the urban oasis referred to as The Great Walkway and turned it over to the fossil fuel consuming environmentally destructive automobile.
Following are emails from two citizens who have been deeply involved in the campaign to have The Great Walkway designated a 24/7 car free oasis.
Their dismay is palpable. Their names have been redacted to protect their privacy.
Author 1: I wholeheartedly agree with all the facts and arguments that Author 2 has written below. I am shocked, angered, disappointed and frustrated that you did not ask us, your XXXXXXXXXXX for input and went ahead with your support of this executive order without following protocol, and listening to the majority of your constituents on this issue. In fact, it seems that you ignored the resolution we passed unanimously on July 26th in support of the car free SFMTA Great Highway pilot. Until I know you have read our resolution, I will continue to believe that you are ignoring the evidence and data before you, and pandering to a certain group of voters. Finally, I agree that your desire to build out concept 2 is pure climate denialism.
Author 2: To me it is unnecessary (at best) to change the existing health emergency order (that is otherwise still in place!) before the vote in September, and disrespectful of the SFMTA and public’s time (at worst) who have been diligently working to collect the data that the supervisors asked for, spend hours and hours on multiple public comment sessions, and follow the process laid out that the supervisors agreed to, just to have the great highway reopened to cars without any process (even if more process is coming in the future). Doing this during the BOS recess without any advance notice, while legal, is frustrating and disrespectful to those following the process you laid out, and listing this reopening now as an option for routes to drive to school seems disingenuous considering the Great Highway does not have entrances within the Sunset District and couldn’t really be used to drive to any schools – this is thin cover for what the Great Highway is actually used for, which is driving to the Peninsula, an option that will no longer exist once the southern portion is closed soon anyway.
Top photo – Great Walkway rally – August 15, 2021