A Temporary Success StorY
The recent announcement from Mayor Breed’s office that starting August 16, the Great Highway will reopen to cars Monday-Friday was a fantastic victory for us “little” folks. Thank you for fighting the good fight. This partial reopening is the result of your efforts!!!
Now for the not-so-pleasant news: This Monday-Friday reopening is only a partial reopening. It’s also temporary, and may only last a month or so. In September, the Board of Supervisors will vote on a two-year “pilot project” for the Great Highway that SFMTA and Recreation & Parks Department are proposing. Their preferred option is to again fully close the Highway for the next two years. If approved, the Great Highway will probably never reopen to drivers. During this pilot project, data will be collected regarding traffic impacts, usage of the closed Highway, etc. But shameless and biased SFMTA will likely compile bogus statistics demonstrating that full-time permanent closure is the best long-term result.
Since the announcement of a partial, temporary reopening, the no-compromise advocates for permanent closure have redoubled their efforts. Mayor Breed, Supervisors Mar and Chan, and the rest of the Supervisors are being bombarded with calls and mail berating the decision, insisting they reinstitute a full closure of the Great Highway and threatening political repercussions. The politicians are under extreme pressure to approve the two-year full closure option as a pilot project.
We need your help to win. So savor this recent victory, but the battle has just begun.
We must now convince the Board of Supervisors to fully open the Great Highway, and that before there is a pilot project involving full or partial closure of the Highway they must conduct a study of all environmental impacts. If the Great Highway is closed for two more years during a pilot study, local residents will continue to suffer the impacts of thousands of cars, motorcycles, trucks, etc. being rerouted off the Highway and onto quiet streets; longer commute times that will impact thousands; far more dangerous streets as 18,000-20,000 daily drivers are forced off the Great Highway into residential neighborhoods; slower emergency responses to the locked gates on the Highway; and significantly increased greenhouse gasses as drivers idle in stop-and-go traffic on local streets and in Golden Gate Park when climate change is destroying the planet.
Additionally, before the Highway is closed for a pilot study, there must be an Environmental Impact Report mandated by California environmental law that studies any proposed changes. As the Sierra Club has written [click here to see the letter]: “Evaluating environmental damage after a Pilot Project has been in place for two years - or in this case a potential total of over 3 years - is a bit like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.” But by labeling the proposed two-year closure a “pilot project,” the City has incorrectly said that an EIR is unnecessary.
We need your help to Open the Great Highway and demand an Environmental Impact Report before there is a pilot study. Tell the decision-makers that they should permanently open the Great Highway, that you oppose a pilot project which would likely be a full, 24/7 closure, and that any pilot project requires an Environment Impact Report.
Please click the button to send a letter. Mayor Breed, the Board of Supervisors, and others need to hear from you. Make your voices heard. It will just take a minute and could make all the difference.
Thank you for your amazing efforts.
Only with your help can we rightfully restore the Great Highway!