Assembly

Assembly – Phil Ting

West Side Traffic Relief

Assemblymember Phil Ting

 

Living in the west side has many benefits. You get the perks of living in San Francisco

without the hustle and bustle of downtown, you get a larger space to raise your family,

and you get access to the many scenic amenities this area has to offer, including the

Presidio, Golden Gate Park, Lands End and Crissy Field.

 

But, with those great amenities comes a downside – traffic in our neighborhoods leading

up to the Golden Gate Bridge. It backs up through the Presidio and down Park Presidio

Boulevard into the Sunset and Richmond districts.

 

A major driver of this traffic is the queue of cars waiting for the limited number of

parking spots at the Vista Point on the north side of the bridge. Cars line up on the

bridge’s rightmost lane and, since there are usually three lanes of traffic, one-third

of the bridge’s capacity heading north is lost.

 

My office has received numerous complaints from the community over the

years about this nuisance. I, along with supervisors Sandra Lee Fewer, Katy Tang,

London Breed, Jeff Sheehy and Norman Yee as well as the Golden Gate Bridge

Highway and Transportation District and Caltrans – which owns the Vista Point –

got to work on this and found a trial solution.

 

Caltrans closed the Vista Point to private vehicles between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5

p.m., on weekends starting in August through Labor Day weekend. The bridge’s Welcome

Center parking lot on the south end was simultaneously closed to ensure maximum

traffic avoidance. Access to the Vista Point remained open to pedestrians, bicyclists,

tour buses and those arriving by public transit. The Welcome Center parking lot

was open to those arriving in taxis or ride share vehicles.

 

Furthermore, to better control the flow of traffic in the area, Caltrans assigned

staff to monitor the entrance to the Vista Point to let in tour buses and otherwise

direct traffic and installed a stop sign at the ramp from U.S. 101 to Alexander

Avenue in Sausalito.

 

Initial reports from Caltrans show the effort was largely successful to relieve

traffic. They say the exception was some increased traffic on Bunker and

Conzelman roads as visitors availed themselves of other vista points in the

Marin Headlands.

 

While I have received only positive feedback from the community so far, I

want to hear from you about this. We are now looking at the possibility of closing

the Vista Point on additional weekends throughout the year. Expanding what seems like

a successful experiment is an exciting prospect. But, I want to hear what you think.

Please e-mail me through my website at http://www.asmdc.org/ting or call my district office at

(415) 557-2312 to make sure that your voice is heard.

 

Weekends are a time for people to relax from the stresses of daily life and run

our errands. Taking traffic delays off the table is a goal we can achieve together.

 

Phil Ting represents the 19th Assembly District, which includes the west side of

San Francisco.

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