The Great Streets Campaign Needs a Leader

Market.jpgHow great would a car-free Market Street be?
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) is spearheading a new initiative it has dubbed "The Great Streets Campaign," which seeks to catalyze numerous stakeholders and policy makers to transform our city streets for people.  They just sent around a job announcement for the campaign director, which you can download here (PDF).

Despite a city charter that puts transit and people first in the transportation hierarchy, and city codes mandating Complete Streets and Better Streets treatments, the reality is that most of San Francisco still caters fundamentally to the private automobile.

While the failure to provide our city with quality transit and quality streets is due to numerous factors--from lack of coordination among city agencies, lack of commitment or focus from city decision makers, and obstructive litigation from certain community groups that resist change--the need for improvement is monumental.

The Better Streets Plan is a blueprint and toolbox for improving the livability and decency of our streets and yet very few of those prescriptions have been implemented.  

San Francisco should be leading the world in creating streets that serve as quality public spaces and build community and streets that are safe, accessible, and welcoming to even the most vulnerable users (namely children, persons with disabilities, and the elderly), and streets that provide balanced, multi-modal accessibility, with priority given to transit, cycling, and walking. 

New York City has embraced livable streets principles and has made remarkable progress in the very short tenure of Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of their DOT.  We believe San Francisco can do the same, provided there is real leadership coming from Mayor Newsom. 

We wish the Great Streets Campaign great success and we hope to report on their good work in the very near future.

Flickr photo: ccoc