letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor: Street Closures Have Caused Enormous Hostility


Thank you for your full-page spread regarding the Lake Street closure. I only wish the sponsors of this had included the closure of JFK Drive from Transverse to Kezar in their complaint.

Everything they said about the Lake Street closure is true of the JFK Drive closure:

“The pandemic was used as an excuse for major policy changes.”

“The current plan of limited vehicle access to the roadway was forced upon the public by SFMTA – and the results have been devastating.”

“Our public access has been hijacked by a rogue SFMTA and a few radicals in the non-profit community” – in the case of JFK, by Bicycle interests, Walk SF and the so-called “arts” group responsible for the gigantic yellow-painted metal tubes suspended on JFK between Transverse and Crossover, as well as enormous concrete objects blocking the way. 

These bicycle and non-profit groups, along with the young fitness enthusiasts, have taken over the Park for themselves, creating difficulties – sometimes insurmountable – for older residents and workers who must drive to, say, Stow Lake or the Hall of Flowers or commute through to Stanyan. 

Enormous hostility now exists between the two sides of the issue. I have witnessed an elderly person enquiring about the source of the tubular “art” piece being aggressively shouted down by the “artist” while waving his arms & shouting profanities. I have witnessed a young woman on a bicycle run into an elderly man and his dog with not a word of apology or lesson learned, and too many other incidents to itemize. These ever so socially conscious bicycle, walk, and art people are riding roughshod over the rights of others and there is no justification for tolerating it.

There is plenty of existing recreation space for bicyclers and walkers; it is an outrage against the rights of others that these groups should monopolize all the spaces.

It is a further outrage that we all pay the City taxes which the City then uses to fund the SF Bicycle Coalition and Walk SF in their work against the interests of the rest of us. 

Closures such as Slow Streets & Park closures force even more traffic onto existing roadways, aggravating already congested Park crossings such as 25th/19th Ave and 43rd/41st. 

(Closing the North-South Park-crossing at Eighth Avenue for the sake of the Museum Garage also created great difficulties!)

One thing I would add regarding Slow Streets: The existing plan forces the driver to move into the oncoming traffic lane. How on earth is this “safe?”

Of course, the City is aware of this; we have been communicating to them about this since the beginning of the closures.

But we will continue to do so.


Patricia Kimball

Outer Richmond District

From the editor: It was a paid ad and not an editorial message from the Richmond Review.

20 replies »

  1. Obviously Patricia is willfully ignoring or hasn’t seen the November 8, 2022 election results. Proposition J to make JFK Promenade permanently car free triumphed with a 63 percent YES vote.


    • Yes, there was a 63%, or 2/3rds vote to close JFK, but there’s another issue – the rights of all people to be able to access public space. In this case, it’s physically challenged people who are paying the price for able-bodied people to have total access 24/7. Able-bodied people don’t see the anguish of physically challenged people because they aren’t present! There was a compromise from 2007 – half the year closed, half the year open. This vote ended that compromise. A total denial of access is wrong – it is a violation to those who are not able to bike or easily walk. I think without bringing back a compromise where some of the time physically people can access, I think this total of access is cause for a lawsuit.

      Liked by 2 people

      • leeheidhues’ frequent comments on the RR consistently have no concept whatsoever of personal rights… his main focus is to ride his bike regardless of how it affects others.


    • J actually LOST big in both the Richmond and Sunset, the most affected districts.

      But who expected J’s proponents (Top contributor was Yelp’s CEO!)
      to be honest about the fact that residents are strongly divided,
      and the ones most affected do not support this Breed PR campaign?

      The most vocal (entirely younger Caucasian) activists in the Haight pretended this was necessary to “prevent traffic deaths” – JFK had 1 in several decades.
      Meanwhile there are dangerous routes citywide which receive little attention.

      The whole thing was a lie and shamelessly also sold as a protection of the coastline,
      which is only the second most insane argument for J, followed by the BS notion
      that it in some way affects or halts climate change. It’s a lie and you fell for it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It looked to me that the east side of the city voted to close needed streets in the west side of the city. This is the west side so you are outnumbered here.

      The bike people need to avoid being labeled Marxist. How is this going to help the local economy? I am forced to buy from Amazon. I used to shop locally.

      The irony is that future bike build-outs are tied to local sales tax. Last I looked, we have serious problems. People cannot shop where they shopped before. The east side might have an unhomed issue but the west side has a serious transportation issue. Our buses aren’t even all up and working.

      People will come in the city, put their noses up to the downtown and east side of the city’s problems but won’t be able to enjoy the west side of the city because they cannot get to where they want to go.

      I guess y’all weren’t thinking about the economy. We happen to have a capitalist economy. If you weren’t thinking about it, you are all going to get labeled MARXISTS.


  2. I personally think it is wrong to disallow people from being able to access public spaces, and I’d like to discuss the closure of JFK Drive. Many people told me personally they have physical challenges such that they cannot walk to this area. They need vehicle transportation. It’s not just a matter of signing up for paratransit – the amount of paratransit is limited, first of all, and they would also like to be able to go at all times of the day, which includes the evening time, say for the light show at the Conservatory of Flowers. Or be able to sit/stay in the care for extended amounts of time at one place. Or be able to work at the dahlia garden – a lot of those folks came from the ARC organization. I think it was wrong to put the issue to a vote, and I THINK THE CITY SHOULD BE SUED FOR NOT ALLOWING ACCESS TO PARK PUBLIC SPACE. ANYONE UP FOR THAT?

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is a soon to be dismissed lawsuit by the California Court of Appeal funded by FAMSF. It was filed in SF Superior Court in December 2021 and moved to a higher Court when the plaintiffs ‘Open the Great Highway Alliance’ lost their attempt to force the opening of car free areas. That effort is in its final throes.


      • The merchants are struggling because people cannot get to their businesses. The numbers are real.

        You do NOT know the truth when the West Side, Sunset and Richmond Districts voted to OPEN the roads because they NEED the road.

        Maybe you have enough money to play on your bicycle all day but there are families who need to get around. There are the elderly who need to get around. There are doctors, nurses, teachers, shop keepers who need to get around.


        If you live on the West side and ride a bicycle, in two years, all you will have is the park and the slow streets–there will be NOTHING else.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. After 50 odd years they were finally able to get their way after infiltrating their way into our city government. They created all these non profits that get funded by the city and turn around and donate to political campaigns and get their SFBC buddies elected to office and push their progressive agenda. SFMTA has zero credibility and needs to be shut down. This monster was created by the voters and morphed into something unintended.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The S.F. Bike Coalition/WalkSF/KidsSafe SF are one huge PAC in San Francisco, and they are organized and highly motivated. We didn’t stand a chance 😔.


  4. The cycling community screwed up when they hit the pavement to do all this when the Pandemic started. They have become the City’s Pyriahs. They are the minority.

    I, for one, would have supported my slow street if these cyclists didn’t come into the neighborhood blocking neighbor access to and from all our homes.

    It also did not help that the very first week, as I was WALKING home from the store, crossing the street in a walkway, that a mother told her kids, “Go for it!” as they sped faster toward me! I was almost knocked down by a MOTHER and HER CHILDREN. I had to jump. It is sick to think this is their diner conversation, “Hey, mom, that lady carrying bags-did you see how she had to jump and run out of the street? ha ha ha ha!”

    I am still dealing with nonsense. Some person intentionally drove 2 mph down the slow street as I was trying to get home. I had to go pee.


  5. The voters have spoken and a well funded campaign to reintroduce motor vehicle traffic to (a portion of) JFK Drive failed. Just as Trump and others pretend his loss was due to something nefarious, some local residents seem to share similar delusions about our local election results.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! You have to be kidding. The No on Prop I, Yes on J were VERY well funded and bankrolled by Big Tech. Trump? More garbagio connection, just like the Boudin Recall opponents efforts to lie about who was behind it… politics in San Francisco is broken.


  6. Patricia is exactly correct. SF has been taken over by Big Tech, the Bike Coalition, and the accommodating city government. Vote them all out and send Jeff Tumlin back to So. California where he can do damage down there, not here.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s