Janelle Wong responded to my opinion piece in the April 2021 issue of the Sunset beacon about the unjustifiable expenditure of $500,000 in tax dollars to address problems created by the closure of the Upper Great Highway and, in addition to basically calling me a liar, offered a smokescreen of irrelevant information while completely failing to address the key issue.
She does not deny that the Highway worked perfectly fine for all interests, and without complaint, its entire existence. She spends most of her letter quibbling with the pot of taxpayer funds from which the $500,000 is being drawn, but cannot deny that a half-million dollars of City tax dollars are being spent to try to fix problems that the closure creates, and which would not exist if the Highway is reopened.
Specifically, she cannot deny that regardless of any mitigation measures, the streets in the Sunset District are far more dangerous with 18,000 cars unable to use the Highway each day and forced to divert to other routes; quality of life goes down for residents living on those alternate routes and frustrated drivers forced to spend far longer times behind the wheel; and air pollution necessarily goes up as so many people must be in their cars longer.
As she admits, the money is being spent to look to try to “figur[e] out solutions for the Upper Great Highway.” No “solutions” are needed if the Highway is simply returned to its pre-pandemic use, which worked wonderfully for all and didn’t lead to any problems! Use the money for some other laudable purpose, but don’t waste it here.
Lastly, I believe Ms. Wong is the same Janelle Wong who is a high officer in the San Francisco Bike Coalition. If you help run an organization having an agenda that’s directly relevant to an issue on which you weigh in publicly, don’t you think that’s a relevant fact to disclose to readers? And she labeled me “disingenuous”!
Charley Perkins, Sunset District resident
Categories: letter to the editor