Battle for Car Free JFK Promenade and Great Walkway far from over

Lee Heidhues 12.27.2022

While the thousands of people who campaigned for a Car Free JFK Promenade and Great Walkway Park achieved a marvelous victory at the polls on November 8, 2022 those who want to bring climate killing cars back have not given up the fight.

A group calling itself ‘Open the Great Highway Alliance’ filed a lawsuit against The City in San Francisco Superior Court a year ago. Their Motion to obtain an Injunction ordering that cars be allowed on JFK Promenade and The Great Walkway was rejected earlier this year.

‘Open the Great Highway Alliance’ then filed an Appeal with the California Court of Appeal in San Francisco.

That Appeal is pending.

The question needs to be asked, “Who is funding this lawsuit?”

During the election campaign I obtained documents from the San Francisco Ethics Commission to find out how much money the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Dede Wilsey were contributing to Proposition I. The measure which Dede Wilsey got onto the ballot paying signature gatherers $200,000.

The name on the FAMSF submission is the same as that in the lawsuit to bring cars back to JFK Promenade and The Great Walkway. ‘Open the Great Highway Alliance.’

Defeated overwhelmingly at the ballot box, Dede Wilsey continues to spend her money and thwart the will of the voters.

Liz Heidhues, a San Francisco native, celebrates Prop J victory which will keep JFK Promenade open to pedestrians and closed to cars, in Golden Gate Park Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Following the November election the Court of Appeal sent the following to both sides.

In light of events occurring since the filing of this appeal, including without limitation the election results as to Proposition I and Proposition J, the court directs each party to advise this court, in writing by December 2, 2022, whether the appeal should be dismissed as moot. Appellant may alternatively inform us that it elects not to proceed with the appeal. The party’s submission shall not exceed three typewritten single-space pages.

Attached is the response from the ‘Open the Great Highway Alliance’ which vows to continue its fight to bring cars back to JFK Promenade and The Great Walkway.

It can be expected that the Court of Appeal will set the matter for oral arguments sometime in late winter or early Spring 2023. Following oral arguments the three Justice panel will make its decision.

The people enjoy JFK Promenade