A Disappointment for Twin Peaks

A silver bike with front rack and bag leaning against a guardrail at Twin Peaks, overlooking an early morning view of San Francisco

After two hours of public comment and countless asks for the SFMTA to prioritize more car-free space than proposed, the SFMTA unanimously approved the Twin Peaks for All project earlier this week. While we’re happy to see any car-free space moving forward, many of our members did not feel this was a win.

Charlie, a District 8 resident, shared why the space we’ve come to love over the past year is so important: “There’s an entirely new experience at Twin Peaks… it’s bringing together San Franciscans. It’s an entirely new, stunning experience, think about what you can give us as a San Francisco coming out of this pandemic. Think about what you can give future generations.”

Sophia, who learned to love biking in the pandemic, talked about what the space gave us: “I’m a woman who started cycling during the pandemic because I feel comfortable in separate spaces from cars. Having park spaces like Twin Peaks for people has created a community space… bringing countless families and women to our open spaces.” It’s no surprise that most who called into the meeting were disappointed to see the project move forward with less than half the car-free space we had previously.

In a survey conducted by the SFMTA last year, the option to keep the Portola Drive gate closed to cars was the most favored. It had almost twice the amount of support as the second-most voted option. Keeping the Portola Drive gate closed to cars not only provided the most car-free space at Twin Peaks, it also ensured that the project would provide direct access to the Christmas Tree Point parking lot from Burnett Avenue for those who could not bike or walk up the hill. And yet, even with everything lined up, the SFMTA moved forward with the option to open Portola Drive to cars and keep Burnett Avenue closed.

Map showing a blue line representing vehicle access from the Burnett gate up to the entrance of Christmas Tree Point parking lot 24 hours day. A green line indicates pedestrians and bikes only from the Portola Gate to the entrance to Christmas Tree Point. A green line indicates the east side of the figure eight is reserved for pedestrians and biking.

The number one option preferred, the Burnett Avenue option.

Map showing a blue line indicating two-way vehicle access from Portola Drive gate (at Panorama Drive) to Christmas Tree Point from noon to midnight daily. A green line indicates pedestrian and bicycle only from the Burnett Gate to Christmas Tree Point at all times. A green line indicates the east side of the figure eight is reserved for pedestrians and biking.

The Portola Drive option recommended by the SFMTA.

Though this proposal adds car-free space that we did not have pre-pandemic, we are disheartened and recognize that this project is far from visionary. This is a small first step, and we will push the City to seriously consider how to expand car-free space in this landmark park in the near future. Your people power is what will get us there. Sign up today to stay up to date on the campaign and learn more about how you can get involved.

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