November 2022 election – yes on measures B, J, L, and N, and no on Measure I
As we vote this November, San Franciscans can help create a more livable, equitable, and sustainable City. We can keep the Golden Gate Park’s public spaces for recreation and enjoyment of nature, with enhanced access to the park for all. We can sustain vital funding for frequent and reliable public transit. and for safer and greener streets. We can improve governance of our streets, sidewalks, and plazas with responsible oversight and increased coordination.
We can also prevent the City taking a giant backwards step. For over two years, the JFK Promenade on Golden Gate Park has been a healing tonic for our pandemic-battered City. We reclaimed a civic commons were we can safely and joyfully exercise, socialize, and restore ourselves in nature. Measure I would ban this public treasure, and impose the primacy of car traffic in the heart of our City’s largest public park. Further, it would ban the current weekend car-free spaces on Great Highway, and force the City to keep Great Highway’s derelict southern end open to traffic, at a cost of over $80 million – and with irreparable harm to Ocean Beach and the coastal environment.
Yes on Measure B
San Francisco has some of the most progressive and integrative streets policies and standards in the country – our City’s Better Streets Plan. But the reality on our streets is very different. Our streets are dangerous, with nearly three dozen people killed by traffic every year while walking and cycling. Our streets are some of the least green in the country. They are dirty and ill-maintained. And there are huge geographic inequities, with San Francisco’s lower income and less car-dependent neighborhoods and communities of color burdened with the most traffic danger, most automobile pollution, and the least green and usable outdoor public space.
One reason for our mean streets is San Francisco’s badly fragmented streets governance. Rather than a single streets department, street design, construction, and maintenance is split among several departments who work poorly with one another and with the public.
Proposition B will provide oversight and accountability for the City’s Department of Public Works by placing it under an appointed commission, with representatives appointed by both the mayor and Board of Supervisors. Another commission will oversee street cleaning and maintenance, to provide additional oversight and a public sounding board for these functions. It will undo a prior measure that would have divided the City’s Public Works department and further fragmented and disrupted streets governance. Proposition B’s oversight and coordinated governance can help San Francisco finally realize its better streets goals.
Yes on Measure J
Measure J will reaffirm the Golden Gate Park Access and Safety Plan, approved by the Board of Supervisors in April. That Plan sustains a car-free recreational promenade along JFK and Middle drives, so San Franciscans and visitors can safely and comfortably walk, run, cycle, and roll down the length of the park. The plan also enhances access to the park by expanding free shuttles and designating more accessible parking spaces near the promenade. The Measure will allow the City to further improve access and expand or connect car-free spaces in the park should we choose to do so in the future.
No on Measure I
Measure I would take us backwards. It would prohibit any regular car-free space on JFK Promenade and other park roads, except for limited hours on weekends, and also prohibit the weekend recreation on Great Highway we currently enjoy. It would even require the City to keep the eroding southernmost section of Great Highway, which the City years ago decided to remove to protect our sewage treatment plant and coastal bluffs, open to cars. Doing so will cost $80 million or more, and harm Ocean Beach and the coastal environment. This measure is funded by small group of wealthy socialites, running a deceptive campaign that hopes to convince you that Measure I is about access. Don’t be fooled – Measure I will actually undo the City’s accessibility program to open JFK Promenade and Great Highway to all.
Yes on Measure L
The City’s half-cent sales tax for transportation, which has been in place since 1989, has provided funding for essential transportation programs and improvements, including repairing and replacing transit vehicles, tracks, and wires, repairing roads and sidewalks, funding paratransit operations, and funding to improve and expand rail and bus service. Measure L will extend the current tax with a new expenditure plan. The is made up programs, with the largest share going to transit, along with streets (including repaving, safer walking and cycling and tree planting), paratransit for seniors and people with disabilities, and equity-focused neighborhood transportation priorities.
Yes on Measure N
Measure N would permit the City to reclaim the park’s Music Concourse parking garage from a private authority and operate it as a public facility. The Concourse Authority, which currently owns and operates the garage, has proved unaccountable and scandal-prone. City operation of the garage would allow for more public-oriented use and pricing of the garage, and funding to support and expand equitable access to the park.