Currently, the Great Highway is car-free, creating acres upon acres of new, beautiful park space, enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. But, its future is at stake as City officials decide the future of the space. Over a hundred of you called in yesterday to a City Hall meeting to make sure all eleven of our Board of Supervisors heard your call to keep the space car-free 24/7 unequivocally.
After hours of public comment, they ultimately voted to adopt a City staff report that will explore a variety of options for the long-term future of Great Highway, including a fully car-free option.
From essential workers to parents to a reverend who depends on this new park space, our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition members showed up to make sure our Supervisors heard how important this space is. “You have a difficult decision before you,” said Richmond District member Jane Natoli, directing her comments to the Supervisors. “But we have to make hard decisions and that’s part of what we’re counting on you to do as our leaders. Climate change isn’t going anywhere and we’re not going to fix it by opening up streets to cars.”
The meeting began with a presentation by City staff on each of the five options that were being considered, followed by intense questioning by each of the supervisors. A variety of amendments were made, pushing City staff to do deeper outreach and address traffic congestion concerns.
“While I would support a pilot, I do not support a full-closure pilot,” said Supervisor Gordon Mar, preferring a compromise in the near term. “I do support and am excited about exploring the bigger, long-term full closure of the Great Highway. But in order to get there, there’s going to need to be much better, more significant planning with public outreach and work in infrastructure on the west side.”
While your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is relieved that all options remain on the table, we’ve heard from our members and from our in-person outreach that what we need more than ever is for this incredible park space to remain forever. As Supervisor Dean Preston said, the Great Highway today is “simply amazing” and we are committed to finding every way to make this space remain as it is.
The final decision will come before the Board of Supervisors this fall, and it’s going to take a lot of work and outreach to make this happen. If you’re ready to take action and join in, sign up for updates today so that you get the latest.
Your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition remains guided by our four key values: transportation justice, sustainability, people power, and joy. We believe that a 24/7 car-free Great Highway embodies all of those values, and we need you to be part of our campaign for a better future.