I write to respond to Mr. Perkins’ April 13th Letter to the Editor, seeking to reopen the Great Highway to cars. Mr. Perkins claims that the problems with the highway were “created by the closure” and that the highway should be re-opened to cars because it has “worked perfectly fine for all interests, and without complaint, its entire existence.” The claim is comically untrue.
The Great Highway has been failing for decades and, because of natural erosion, the road is unworkable in the long term. This is not a new issue. Annually, the City spends an insane amount of money attempting to keep the road open to motor vehicles, with frequent closures to remove sand and debris from the road.
For decades the City has documented the way in which the Great Highway is failing as a roadway. In 2012, after years of studies, the City approved the Ocean Beach Master Plan, effectively eliminating the Great Highway as a commute road for vehicles. For those who wish to understand the multitude of problems related to the Great Highway, the following are links to the San Francisco Planning Department and the Master Plan:
The Great Highway is “perfectly fine” in the same way the hideous Embarcadero Freeway was “perfectly fine” before it was demolished following the Loma Prieta earthquake. Like the Embarcadero Freeway and the Central Freeway, we should stop trying to put a band aid on a failing road and use the Proposition K money – which only can be used to study changes in transportation – to come up with some workable solution. As I have stated previously, this money can only be used for this particular purpose and so why not get solutions to create a better Upper Great Highway?
Finally, Mr. Perkins claims that my opinion should be discounted because I currently work for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. My letter was not written on behalf of the Coalition, nor is this one. Aside from it being weird to Google and gratuitously attack me, the idea that my work in operations for the Coalition means I have an “agenda” is offensive.
According to SFCTA’s recent survey, only an estimated 21% are in favor of doing what Mr. Perkins is advocating – returning the Upper Great Highway to its pre-pandemic four lane road. Like every other homeowner and taxpayer in the City, I’m tired of seeing the City waste my money trying in vain to keep the road open so that a handful of (vocal) individuals are free to drive more quickly between the Sunset and Richmond Districts.
Janelle Wong, Inner Parkside
Categories: letter to the editor