Upper Great Highway

Press Release: City Reveals Next Phase for Great Highway to Start Aug. 16

Stretch from Lincoln Way to Sloat Blvd will continue to be closed to car traffic on weekends and holidays, but will open up to car traffic during the week 

Today SF Mayor London N. Breed and Supervisor Gordon Mar with support from Supervisors Connie Chan and Myrna Melgar, announced that starting Monday, Aug. 16, the Upper Great Highway will have an adjusted operational plan tied to the pandemic emergency closure. The Upper Great Highway between Lincoln Way and Sloat Boulevard will be open for weekends and holidays for pedestrian and bicycle use only, and open to car traffic on weekdays. The timing of this new operational plan is to combine with the first day of school to support students and families getting to and from school, as well as people returning to getting to and from work during the week.

Starting Monday, Aug. 16, the Upper Great Highway will be closed to car traffic and open to pedestrians and bicycles only from Fridays at noon until Monday at 6 a.m., and will be open to vehicular traffic from Mondays at 6 a.m. to Fridays at noon. On holidays, the Upper Great Highway will also be closed to vehicular traffic. This modification phase to the emergency response will be in place until the Board of Supervisors considers legislation to establish a one- or two-year pilot in this or in another configuration that would extend beyond the pandemic emergency closure.

“The use of the Great Highway during this pandemic has revealed what we can do to provide our residents and families more opportunities to enjoy the west side of our city,” said Mayor Breed. “Having the Great Highway closed on weekends and holidays will make sure that residents and visitors still can enjoy this incredible space, while recognizing the needs of our families and residents who need to get to school and work during the week as we reopen. There has been a lot of ongoing community discussions and meetings about the long-term future of the Great Highway, and I look forward to that continuing over the coming months to inform the next phase of the project.” 

“The creation of an oceanfront promenade on the Great Highway during the pandemic has been transformational, with incredible benefits and real challenges,” said Supervisor Mar. “It’ll take new and robust investments in westside transit and transportation to truly address the traffic impacts, and it’s unreasonable to continue a 24/7 closure without them. Meanwhile, a weekday roadway and weekend promenade is a meaningful compromise and the right road forward. We’re balancing the benefits of this unique open space with the real need for safe and efficient traffic flow, and maintaining an oceanfront promenade when it’s used the most while offering some relief during weekday commute times. I’m grateful to Mayor Breed for listening and working with us on this adjustment to the pandemic use of the Great Highway, while outreach moves forward to decide the post-pandemic use.”

“As the supervisor for the Richmond District, I have heard from most of my constituents the need for more travel access and connectivity in north-south directions, and the Great Highway has been a key roadway for access. The future of Great Highway must also include an increase of public transit routes and service frequency for the Richmond,” said Supervisor Chan, whose district includes Lone Mountain, Richmond and most of Golden Gate Park. “I want to thank Mayor Breed for hearing the Richmond District residents’ concerns and applaud her leadership for a solution to serve the purpose of outdoors recreation and travel access.”

In April 2020, the Great Highway was closed to vehicular traffic between Lincoln Way and Sloat Blvd as part of the City’s response to the pandemic and the need for there to be more space for people. Moving forward, San Francisco officials are undergoing a long-term process to plan for the long-term future of the Great Highway. These changes are being made to align with the reopening of schools and the City’s emergence from this pandemic.

1 reply »

  1. I’ve enjoyed the Great Highway much more since it has been closed to car traffic. I don’t mind using alternative routes by car and public transit to work during the week. The added “breathing space” for walking and biking is so important to my enjoyment of this beautiful outer Richmond.

    Leslie Johnson
    48th Avenue
    Outer Richmond constituent and voter


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