letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor: Find Middle Ground on Fate of Upper Great Highway


I think it’s time for people who are for and against the Great Highway closure to try to find some middle ground. As someone pointed out on Nextdoor, the June 22 meeting was a waste of time, which is fair enough. I have been to plenty of neighborhood roundtable discussions where I left even more frustrated than ever! 

Here’s my idea: Similar to what JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park, it is closed on weekends. Yes, it’s a slight inconvenience for some, but it’s not 24/7. We always had the option to brave it through the clogged artery, 19th Avenue. Or we would take the Great Highway, which as of now, drivers don’t have that option. 

I say close the Great Highway once or twice a week, that way you appease both sides. Or at least try to. There will be crabs who are never satisfied, but you can’t please everyone. 

I also had another idea. Given the fact San Francisco lost more than 400 businesses alone during the height of the pandemic, why doesn’t the City come up with some sort of alternative schedule of different areas to close? There’s plenty all around the City that could be used for the same purposes as the Great Highway for bikers, skaters, walkers and runners. That way instead of a “weekly inconvenience” for some, it would just be a monthly one. 

And if biking, skating, walking and running is your thing, you could get a chance to visit different parts of our City and reinvest in other communities. That way other communities will feel inspired to get outside and go “play” as adults we forget how to “play,” and it’s such an important thing to have a healthy and productive life. 

I remember a long time ago (I don’t know if they still do this), Bernal Heights introduced the “Bernal Buck” which had the same value as the dollar, but you could only reinvest it back into the community. It’s little things we can do to help rebuild SF and provide a safe spot for activities. 

I do hope Supervisor Chan and her team read this suggestion. Not only will it benefit the Richmond District, but all of San Francisco. 

Peta Cooper  

1 reply »

  1. Selfishly speaking, having the GHW closed is quite fun – but does anyone care about the folks living on the small nearby streets? What happens when you close a highway, eg HighWay 1, and push cars into the residential neighborhood? We have Ocean Beach, walkways, and bike paths already in the area. Should we have any empathy for the people who actually live in the area?
    Just asking…… PS I’m from Glen Park. My street is now a speed track for cars and large trucks. largely because of traffic flow changes on O’Shaughnessy as well as driving apps. So yes, I do empathize.

    Liked by 1 person

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