‘Fight Against MLK Drive Widening Continues’

by on March 23, 2005

Dear Editor,

I appreciate Steve Shih’s efforts to bring light to the situation in GG Park and surrounding areas but this issue stems from nearly five years of painstaking and financial burdensome efforts of the litigants and now a significant movement by some of the city, state and nation’s largest most repected community advocacy membership groups (Note: The Sierra Club is *not* a litigant). To not get a true up date account does not do the work of this grassroots campaign justice that I usually enjoy from BeyondChron’s in-depth reporting on a regular basis.

Steve Shih needs to get a better perspective in his reporting of this large and broad issue that stretches across four districts. I would suggest that he take a little time to research the entirety of the situation and not just one person’s account. There is more to this story which also includes some of the City’s most progressive active activists in a very eccletic coalition of people usually unlikely partners on many other issues.

Additionally, SF Peoples Organziation is also an endorser of this opposition, and MTA has come out strongly against all the plans for any southern park access to the Music Concourse Garage. Warren Hellman’s Music Concourse Community Partnership (MCCP)– the nonprofit developer/operator– & Prop J’s GG Park Concourse Authority plan must *not* be supported whatsoever in its imposition on Districts 1/4/5/7, increased traffic congestion and confusion without an adequate study From Stanyan Street to 19th Avenue, detrimental impact on Inner Sunset commerce and needed tax revenue for SF, definite environmental impact, negative effects on pedestrian/bike/skater safety and public transportation, destruction of not to mention, the health and well-being of the residents and community.

Again, kudos for being there on taking an accounting from the other side but do this movement justice by reporting more than what is just superficial. There is much to be told about this trendsetting private takeover of Golden Gate Park by the wealthy few of imperial San Francisco.

Bruce Wolfe

Dear Steve,

I appreciate the press coverage on the ongoing MLK issues, however you’ve been snookered. A little fact checking would have led you to a broad based coalition actively fighting to preserve MLK and oppose the southern entrance to the Concourse Garage.

Kathy Roberts has been a participant at numerous coalition meetings and is well aware of our activities. For the record I will list those organizations who have voted to oppose the widening of MLK drive.

Inner Sunset Merchants Assoc.
SF Council of District Merchants Associations
The Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods
The Sierra Club
Inner Sunset Park Neighbors
Cole Valley Improvement Assoc.
The Sunset District Neighborhood Coalition,
SF League of Conservation Voters
SF Tomorrow
Sunset-Parkside Education and Action Committee
Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council
SF Bicycle Coalition
Rescue Muni
Walk SF
Pedestrian Safety Advisory Cte
The SF Green Party
CA Outdoor Rollerskating Assoc.

Our opposition has been ongoing since 2002 and we are still being rolled over by the well oiled Hellman machine, The GG Park Concourse Authority and the MCCP.

In 2002, during the EIR process, the following was presented by the Inner Sunset Merchants Assoc. and has yet to be addressed by Planning, DPT, The Concourse Authority, the MCCP or the Mayor.

The EIR proposes many changes that will affect the quality of life not just within Golden Gate Park but also within the broader surrounding neighborhoods. Some basic issues are ignored in this document, which are very crucial to the Inner Sunset District and areas South of Golden Gate Park. Failure to act on these issues now will result in consequences, which have the potential to affect tens of thousands of residents, employees and visitors in the south of park area.

Transportation Study Issues San Francisco’s “Transit First” policy is called for in both the City’s General Plan and in Proposition J

Failure to Address the needs of Transit Preferential Streets The EIR details the two entrances and exit points for the new parking structure. This discussion includes some study and mitigation for Fulton Street and areas North of the Park mentioning eight intersections there. Only two intersections to the south of GG Park, however, are included. Only one intersection is included within the Inner Sunset and its Commercial District. Irving Street and Ninth Avenue are both designated as Transit preferential Streets and are not accurately and adequately discussed or surveyed. This in itself should be viewed as a violation of San Francisco’s “Transit First Policy.”

This DEIR specifically details proposed traffic patterns for vehicles traveling to and exiting from the new parking structure. These patterns (Note page 100, paragraph 3) indicate that Southbound traffic leaving the parking structure will travel south down Ninth Avenue to Kirkham, head West to 19th Ave then South to I-280. Likewise travelers from the South will access the parking structure along the same route.

There is no mention here of the impact on the N-Judah Muni Metro trolley or the 44- O’Shaunghnessy bus line transit corridor so crucial to the Sunset district. Ninth Avenue is designated a Transit preferential Street and not accurately or adequately discussed or surveyed. This is again viewed as a violation of San Francisco’s “Transit First Policy.”

Inadequate Sampling of Current Traffic Volumes and Flow Page 105 of the EIR discusses only the PM weekday peak commute hour (5:00 to 6:00 PM) and midday weekend conditions. The study indicates the the intersection of Ninth and Lincoln already operates at a LOS rating of E even with an extra lane of traffic operating during the study period.

No study was undertaken of the current traffic conditions to the South of the Park. There are too few intersections chosen for the Sunset side study. This study should include 7th and Lincoln, 7th and Irving, 9th and Irving, 9th and Judah, and even 9th and Kirkham, which are all, included in the proposed routes to and from the south. This study would need to take into account the delays caused to MUNI”s most heavily traveled metro route, the N-Judah as well as the 71 Lincoln. These delays in turn create increased commute time for thousands of Sunset residents. This is again viewed as a violation of San Francisco’s “Transit First Policy”.

The proposed removal of 85 parking spaces along MLK will result in a major impact on the residents and businesses within the Inner Sunset. These spaces currently provide parking for the County Fair Building and Big Rec baseball fields where events and meetings occur daily.

NO studies have been undertaken concerning the effects of removing free parking in the Park and replacing them with paid parking in the garage.

No plan for ANY replacement parking to serve the County Fair Building or Inner Sunset Businesses has been presented. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions on this matter.

Craig Dawson
President, Inner Sunset Merchants Association

You can submit letters to the editor by clicking on this link:rshaw@beyondchron.org
or by writing to:
Beyond Chron
126 Hyde Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-771-9850 (phone)
415-771-1287 (fax)

Filed under: Archive