Closed streets have polarized San Francisco

By Carly Graf : sfexaminer – excerpt

Neighborhoods divided, residents frustrated and city supervisors trepidatious

Some issues in The City are just too hot to touch.

Such is the case with the future of San Francisco streets that have been partially or entirely closed during the pandemic. Their fate remains as uncertain as ever, despite months of calls from residents to chart a path forward.

Whether to keep iconic corridors such as Golden Gate Park’s JFK Drive and the Upper Great Highway permanently reserved for people over cars has become one of the most contentious and divisive issues of San Francisco’s COVID-19 experience.

As neighborhoods have become severely polarized, residents progressively more frustrated and supervisors increasingly trepidatious about wading into the debate-turned-political-minefield, Mayor London Breed has remained largely silent on the matter.

She finally weighed in Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting. But if anyone was hoping for Breed’s appearance to shed light on how this ongoing saga will end, they were left disappointed…

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and the Recreation and Parks Department collaborated to close a 1.5-mile stretch of JFK Drive plus the Upper Great Highway to vehicles. The transit agency also rolled out Slow Streets, a program that limited portions of 30 residential streets to thru-traffic only.(more)

This is one of the more impressive articles on the author covers more of the details and facts uncovered and admission by city staff than most. Read the article and write your letters to the editor or comment at the source if you can. Given the difficulty with data, it seems like the best approach is a ballot initiative. We understand that Connie Chan is working on something, not exactly sure what, but the voters are getting antsy and blaming the Mayor and supervisors. We can all see the mess and want relief. Who will be brave enough to do the work to give the voters their chance to vote on what the future of their streets should be?

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