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2022 was a fascinating year in the Bay Area. As governments decided how to react to the lifting of COVID restrictions, some of the most popular programs that were put in place over the last three years were endangered including Slow Streets, the Great Highway Park, and the JFK Promenade.
And wow, was the battle over JFK a weird one. After the de Young museum failed to persuade the Board of Supervisors to turn JFK back into a surface-level freeway, it enlisted the help of Dow Chemical heiress Dede Wilsey who seemed to be auditioning for the role of a real-life James Bond villain. She paid for a deceptive ballot measure to return cars to JFK and the Great Highway Park, 24/7.
Streetsblog’s coverage of the debate, both by editor Roger Rudick and guest writers, cut through the smokescreen the de Young and Wilsey emitted. Streetsblog helped correctly frame the debate as one between people who wanted a safe way to move and enjoy a park versus an entrenched oligarchy that just wanted a convenient way to drive at high speeds.
However, the car culture warriors didn’t get the message sent loud and clear by voters that they want more streets that are safe for all users. The Board of Supervisors is again trying to roll back the Great Highway Park.
Sadly, the battle for safe streets is far from over. If you are able to support Streetsblog as we cover these issues and amplify your voices, please consider making a donation today.