Prop I on the November 8, 2022 San Francisco ballot would reopen two streets to cars: JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park and the Great Highway south of Sloat. Like everyone else in San Francisco, the League had big feels about whether or not JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park should be (partially) closed to car traffic. But the idea of trying to reopen the Great Highway south of Sloat is foolish in the face of climate change (and the California Coastal Commission), so our members voted for a No on Prop I.
Background: After the Supes voted to keep JFK Drive car-free in April 2022, a coalition largely funded by Republican mega-donor (and Fine Arts/DeYoung Museum trustee) Dede Wilsey gathered signatures for Prop I (fully re-opening the Drive and the Great Highway Promenade to cars again.)
What swayed us to a No on Prop I was the damage it would do to the City’s sensible Ocean Beach Climate Change Adaption Project to address sea-level rise and sandstorms in 2023 by closing the Sloat extension, removing harmful coastal armoring, and restoring habitat. If Prop I passes, the City would have to spend at least $80 million to construct a ridiculous seawall at Ocean Beach– a temporary and destructive attempt to wish away the water.
Here’s some more context if you want to go deep:
It’s hard to overstate how divorced from reality it would be to try to armor the Great Highway South of Sloat to try to keep it a two-way road for cars. The City committed to closing the Great Highway South of Sloat back in 2014, when they settled a lawsuit about coastal erosion. In 2018, the SFPUC studied four options for this stretch of road, none of which included full car access because they said the California Coastal Commission wouldn’t allow it. But if somehow we were allowed to build that stupid ugly seawall, the EIR for the Ocean Beach Climate Change Adaption Project says it would require placing 100,000 cubic yards of sand every year to protect the seawall and could “result in accelerated erosion of shore areas to the north and south of the wall,” including "bluff instability at Fort Funston.” In the interests of all-cars-all-the-time, Prop I would pour huge amounts of money into bad infrastructure, pretending that the sand’s not blowing and the seas aren’t rising.
We also oppose Prop I because it can only be amended by another ballot measure. That means even if the City implements all the accessibility improvements that SDA and others are asking for, we’d have to beat Dede Wilsey’s money at the ballot to make any changes to JFK in the future.
For all of those reasons, we urge you to vote no on Prop I.
And see our full Pissed Off Voter Guide for our take on everything else on the ballot.
Paid for by the San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters.
Committee major funding from:
Save John F Kennedy Promenade, Yes on J, No on I. ($5,000) - contributors include Jeremy Stoppelman ($300,000), The Nature Conservancy ($50,000), Emmett Shear ($50,000)
Financial disclosures available at sfethics.org.