letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor: Compromise is the Best Option for Upper Great Highway


Being a lifetime San Francisco resident for 75 years and enjoying Ocean Beach and the Great Highway areas for a fairly long time, I feel there is a simple solution that will satisfy the warring factions that seem bent on making this whole affair an either/or situation. 

I recall, many years ago when the Great Highway had NO traffic signals, and it became a popular section of roadway for many to see how fast their cars could go, or travel in excess of the posted speed limit.  Then the signals were installed and traffic was calmed down considerably.  This situation lasted many years (50?) with no apparent problems.  People used the east paved path to bicycle on or jog/walk, again with no apparent problems.  Homeowners and renters in the immediate area east of the roadway were not subjected to the onslaught of cars they now see as a result of the total closure of the Great Highway, especially on weekdays.

All things considered, most either did not think about a closure or just dealt with the fact that car usage on a section of road that was originally designed for car use was fine.  I never, for the almost 60 years I have been driving, heard any complaints about the Great Highway concerning it being open to cars or what it should be converted to.     

In addition, the surrounding neighborhood east of the highway is a mess of street closures, speed humps, and barricades that frustrate drivers no end. Anyone trying to drive north or south from Lincoln Way to Sloat Boulevard west of Sunset Boulevard is confronted with a barrage of confusing street signs, speed humps and detours that add traffic unnecessarily to the Outer Sunset neighborhood. 

I would suspect that a large majority of Outer Sunset District residents would welcome a return to the way it was since the Great Highway was built. Sunset Boulevard is a swarming mass of cars at commute times and we all know what 19th Avenue is like all the time, and exacerbated by the Great Highway closure and the untold thousands of cars looking for a way to bypass the Great Highway, especially during the week.         

But, after reading all the hoopla and infighting for the last almost two years, concerning what to do about the Great Highway and trying to please everyone on a solution, it seems fairly obvious to me that there is only one easily implemented procedure to follow to satisfy the most people. Because the current weekday non vehicle use of the highway being extremely light in comparison to weekend use, just open the highway to vehicle use on the weekdays and close it on the weekends. I know the weekday pedestrian and bicycle use is sparse because I walk there from my home in the Parkside District quite often.  So let’s not keep up the ongoing war between the factions and settle on a compromise solution?  

Daniel Fulmer 

3 replies »

  1. It’s totally ridiculous that we’re having this conversation at all. There are many other places for kids to learn to ride bikes and roll down sand dunes. This road (UPH) was built for vehicles and should stay this way. I understand the snap decision last year to close it during the pandemic so ppl could enjoy the outdoors while social distancing, but enough is enough. Put your mask on, get the vaccine if you haven’t and go back to the 10 upon 10 parks in this city. Closing this UGH anytime will hurt the city’s revenue and will continue to increase our carbon footprint. No one seems to be considering disabled folks who also want and need to enjoy our parks and beaches. It’s bad enough that so many rods in GGP are still closed NOW when the same reason for closing them was the pandemic. Vehicles are here to stay. If you want to live where there are no vehicles, you can start with the Greek isle of Hydra, but beware….they do allow scooters and donkeys,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a teacher in Daly City and 30 year resident of the outer avenues I beg that we do NOT close the UGH on Friday at NOON!! There is no reason to redirect the highest time of traffic to reroute us through the neighborhoods or force us through 19th ave. My commute home from Daly City to the Richmond takes me an additional 20+ minutes most days but on Fridays with the UGH closed forcing me to maneuver through the outer avenues it can be even worse. PLEASE keep it open to cars until Saturday morning..

    Liked by 1 person

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