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Supes approve funding for traffic calming around Great Highway

Funding was approved just days after the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar agreed to traffic calming measures surrounding the Great Highway.

Tuesday, supervisors acting as the county transportation board approved nearly $425,000 from Proposition K funding to install features aimed at preventing drivers from speeding and other unsafe behaviors on residential streets impacted by temporary closure of the Upper Great Highway.

The work will include installation of 25 speed cushions, two stop signs along the Lower Great Highway and six changeable message signs to direct vehicle traffic to larger roadways, such as Sunset Boulevard and 19th Avenue.

SFMTA officials said that the installations will begin in March and run through April.

Mar, who represents the Outer Sunset neighborhood, said at the meeting:

“This temporary repurposing of the Great Highway has been truly transformative, and has provided tremendous benefit for thousands of diverse residents daily. But it’s also created tremendous challenges and safety concerns for residents impacted by the traffic diverted onto nearby residential streets.”

He added that the agreement between the agency and his office has been a long time coming, adding that officials have been slow to address traffic safety issues.

In addition to funding for specific traffic calming measures, the board approved another $60,000 to analyze potential future use of the Great Highway through the District 4 Mobility Improvements Study.

Regardless of what happens in coming weeks and months, Mar stressed that decisions need to be made about long-term plans for the Great Highway, which has been increasingly impacted by climate change.

Mar said:

“The fact is in the next few years, the Great Highway must change. Not from any policy or political choice, but because nature has decided that for us.”

Noting that coastal erosion and the rising sea level will eventually force The City to eliminate vehicle traffic along the Great Highway near the San Francisco Zoo, Mar said: 

“We didn’t decide that. The planet did. What we have to decide is how we can best use the rest of this public space north of Sloat to meet our needs in the future.”

Staff plans to provide a final analysis report to the county transportation authority board sometime in the middle of the year.

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