Keep San Francisco safe and accessible for all.
Open the Great Highway
This closure affects us all.
The Great Highway closure was supposed to be temporary, for use as a space to get outside and maintain social distance during SF’s emergency order. Now, city officials want to keep it closed permanently. While this closure is mainly for the benefit of one neighborhood, it affects MANY people who live in, work in or out of, or are visiting San Francisco.
Life is returning to a new normal; residents are getting vaccinated, children are returning to school, and people are returning to work. Traffic numbers are now back to the pre-Covid numbers. Additionally, this roadway is not used for recreation the way it was previously. To make matters worse, during commute times, there are few people on the Great Highway while in other areas of the city, people are stuck in gridlock or having to deal with bottlenecks and mitigation routes.
The mitigation remedies put in place by SFMTA are not working. Additional stop signs, speed humps, and detours around the Sunset and surrounding streets are causing confusion, frustration, and unsafe neighborhoods. There are now upwards of 18,000 cars snaking through these routes and down our residential streets.
Blocking this major thoroughfare results in:
Radically increased street traffic
Unsafe road conditions
Big Environmental Impact
This closure forces people in 18,000-20,000 cars PER DAY to be in their cars a lot longer, in less efficient driving conditions. Cars now sit idling at intersections, stop signs, and in bottlenecked areas while trying to get through neighborhoods and other areas affected by the Great Highway closure.
Remember, while it's easy to tell people to take the bus, a shuttle, ride a bike, or hop on a scooter, for many people this is simply not possible. For seniors, people with disabilities, people who want to access the Great Highway or Ocean Beach from other neighborhoods, this simply does not work. A person who works in San Francisco but lives in San Mateo can expect to add 30 minutes (minimum) to their commute.
Think of it this way: 20k vehicles driving just a couple of miles through your neighborhood generate more than 16 metric tons of greenhouse gases (bad for climate change) every day plus large amounts carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, and ultra fine particles (all bad for you and your family). Moving a highway to your street puts a continuous toxic cloud at your doorstep. According to recent scientific reviews by the World Health Organization, living within 100 meters of higher traffic is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular death, respiratory mortality, asthma, low birth weights, childhood cancer, lung cancer and many other adverse health risks.
20,000 vehicle/day * 2 miles = 40,000 Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT)
40,000 VMT * 411 grams/VMT / 1,000,000 = 16.44 metric tons (411 g/vmt is EPA estimate, 2014)
Our once quiet residential streets are no longer peaceful. Cars, motorcycles, and delivery trucks (which are needed for everyday life) are adding to the noise levels along neighborhood streets. How is this better for our health and well-being?
The results: Massive amounts of additional carbon emissions spewing into the air every day. Neighborhood streets that are loud with endless streams of cars and trucks.
If the goals of the closure include supporting climate change and enhancing your well-being, it is surely falling short in the biggest way possible.
Source: The CA Environmental Protection Agency and the Bay Area Air Quality Control