I understand that there was a San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) meeting on Friday, Feb. 19 that most of the public was unaware of. Shouldn’t SFMTA, SFCTA, SF Rec. and Park, and San Francisco supervisors get more input from the public and people who live and work here, rather than special interest groups?
End the traffic and gridlock in the outer avenues! Closure of the Upper Great Highway has made a mess of the neighborhood. Now that construction on 19th Avenue is taking place, things are even worse! You have invited people from all over the Bay Area to come on down and party and play at San Francisco’s western beaches! Carloads of people surrounding us on weekends in what used to be open space. San Francisco is broken! Muni is broken, the police department is broken, emergency services are broken, the DA’s office is broken, the Sheriff’s department is broken, the Department of Public Works is broken, and you want to spend $500k for an idea? Spend the money on getting the kids back in school and put more money into school physical ed programs.
You already have 220 parks and playgrounds in the City that you have trouble maintaining. You already have six miles of open beach. Why do you need to spend millions of dollars for more space adjacent to the beach? What is wrong with going to the beach and walking in the sand? The Feds did not have to close the highway at Ft. Funston or roads in the Presidio to go to Baker Beach to give people more room.
Why don’t you open up more parks and open space in the lower income neighborhoods like the Bayview and Hunters Point? It was big news to open a vaccination site in the Bayview as this is a neglected part of San Francisco. You have the former site of Candlestick Park that could be made into a recreational area. Make Third Street safer to walk and ride Muni. Make playgrounds safer and provide more amenities to your 220 existing parks and playgrounds. Golden Gate Park is a mess where gardeners mostly pick up garbage rather than garden. Golden Gate Park is more than 1,000 acres that ends at the beach. Isn’t that plenty of unused open space? People are getting robbed daily in the park that’s out of control. I dare any of you supervisors to walk through the park at night. Make Muni safer to ride and have more buses and routes.
Before the pandemic, the Great Highway averaged between 16,000 and 20,000 cars a day during the week and more than 20,000 cars on the weekends. All these no right turns, flashing red stop lights, barriers everywhere you turn have only piled up these 16,000 to 20,000 cars a day in front of our houses. Sloat Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue are a traffic nightmare. Wait until the Zoo opens back up! What’s the plan there? It’s already gridlock in the mornings and rush hour times leading to more road rage and accidents.
Don’t be fooled! When the pandemic is over, kids will be in school, parents and most adults will be back to work, the Great Highway will be a sand dune full of garbage. In your budget, what is your projected maintenance cost per year? You currently don’t have enough gardeners as it is. Who’s going to clean up the mess left in our streets? By the way, the planted beach grass and ice plant to prevent soil erosion have been trampled on and dying. You can see all the bald spots of sand that will end up on the roadway. Also, from the highway, you can only see the ocean for five blocks, between Noriega and Taraval streets. The sand dunes block most of the ocean view. However, you have a promenade and bike lanes from the Cliff House to Lincoln Way with an ocean view the entire length. Put your money and resources in that area. Put in bathrooms, showers and picnic areas.
Think about new parks and making changes when you have a plan. It is very clear the highway was closed without very much thought! Now you are trying to fix all the things on the fly! You are wasting money! These fixes are not working! Fix Market Street instead – it’s still broken!
Looking out my window, I see five people on the Upper Great Highway. three of whom are on the walking paths. I live on Kirkham, a “Slow Street.” There is a woman on the sidewalk pushing a stroller and no one on the road except for a car that just drove by. The slow streets out here are mostly empty. It’s not like our sidewalks are crowded with people and you have to walk down the middle of the road. 41st Avenue and Ortega Street are “Slow” streets that are now empty and a joke of the neighborhood. 41st Avenue adds to the back-up through the park from Fulton to Lincoln, where 41st Avenue is a dead end. That was really dumb! It can take half an hour to cross the park – longer on crowded warm days! Road rage on confusion daily and money down the drain.
Spend the money on police services rather than recreation. We are choking with crime and it’s getting worse! We are inundated with crime. The Sunset has but only three police cars patrolling the largest police district in the City. Get some input from the public and people who live and work here, rather than special interest groups. Growing up here, I have never seen San Francisco so poorly run with all these special interest groups. It’s embarrassing!
Do the right thing.
Native San Franciscan and property taxpayer,
Kirkham Street and Great Highway resident for more than 40 years,
Categories: letter to the editor