The recent opinion piece written by Mr. Charley Perkins in your April 2021 edition of the Sunset Beacon about the District 4 Mobility Study was disingenuous, inaccurate and misleading.
The District 4 Mobility Study was passed with funding from Proposition K by the SFCTA and Board of Supervisors for $500,000 to study a number of streets in District 4, including the Upper Great Highway closure and many other safety improvements on streets connected to the Upper Great Highway.
Mr. Perkins infers that these tax dollars that are being used for the study comes from the City’s general fund and it does not. Mr. Perkins himself may not have wanted Proposition K to pass, but the voters of San Francisco passed Proposition K and it reserves a half a cent of sales tax paid in San Francisco to be used as seed money for developing transportation projects for alternative forms of transportation in San Francisco, specifically what the District 4 Mobility project is doing.
The Mobility project is about figuring out solutions for the Upper Great Highway that balances all the users of this space, including drivers of cars, but the focus is on coming up with alternative plans for making bicycling and walking safer for these neighborhood streets that are in and around the Upper Great Highway and the Great Highway. The $500K of taxpayer dollars that Mr. Perkins is referring to is being used for its intended purpose, and this money cannot be used to help the City solve other problems, such as cleaner streets or homelessness. It can only be used for projects such as the District 4 Mobility Study.
I would also like to address the more direct argument that Mr. Perkins makes about just re-opening the Upper Great Highway to the 18,000 cars that drive on it every day, which was happening pre-pandemic. The closure of the Upper Great Highway has been not just an opportunity for the residents of San Francisco to get some needed outdoor relief from sheltering in place because of COVID-19, but it has also provided a key corridor for many people to use other forms of transportation to get around the city, such as cycling or walking. It has also made a great outdoor space more accessible to people for a more livable city. I am not sure there are many residents in San Francisco that would prefer to have 18,000 cars pass in front of their house vs. 4,000 people walking, biking, scootering or running each day.
The main objective of the District 4 Mobility Study that Mr. Perkins does not want to fund is to find a balance between traffic safety for cars, the residents of this area and the people using the new open space for more environmentally friendly forms of transportation. It is trying to find a balance that works for everyone, not just the commuters in cars who drive through these neighborhoods without the appreciation of adverse effects that car traffic, car pollution and car noise has on the residents that live near and around Upper Great Highway. The money could be rescinded but it could only then be used for Proposition K-type projects if not this one then another.
Janelle Wong, Resident of Inner Parkside.
Categories: letter to the editor