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The Great Highway and Point Lobos Avenue have revealed a sharp contrasts in what the post COVID-19 future might look like for city streets. One of those futures looks a lot like the past: car drivers get all the space and other road users just fight over scraps. But in the other, the streets belong to the people and must be safe and inviting to all users–even if that means restricting motorists.
First, the Great Highway between Sloat and Lincoln, which was closed for the COVID-19 crisis (and because sand needed to be cleared). As the video from safe-streets advocate Matt Brezina shows below, people were out in droves Sunday riding and walking and enjoying a safe environment by the beach, all while maintaining safe social distance.
If you have not visited this incredible new pedestrian promenade for some physically distanced exercise, I HIGHLY recommend you do. The car noise is gone. The fear of car violence is gone. People of all ages and abilities are out exercising. You can hear the waves. It’s GLORIOUS! pic.twitter.com/h9xJC6B5GH
— Brezina 🚲 (@brezina) May 18, 2020
“A former car highway that has been repurposed for people to walk, stroll, bike and roll. One of San Francisco’s grand new parks at two miles long and 60 feet wide, I’ve calculated it is over 15 acres,” continued Brezina, in an email to Streetsblog. “And this is managed by San Francisco Recreation & Parks. This is park land already!”
In other words, the city doesn’t have to negotiate with a golf course or the federal government to make changes. This is on them.
Streetsblog reached out to Supervisor Gordon Mar, who in April pushed to have this stretch of the Great Highway kept closed during the COVID-19…