We're working with relevant SF departments to promote this idea. Help us craft a plan that improves the streets, the neighborhood, and the park.
FOUR KEY PILLARS.
Reduced traffic, Outer Ave & Lower Great Highway pedestrian safety, modest park improvements, and inclusive access to the park. These key changes are low-cost, low-maintenance, and can be implemented in stages.
We don't have all the answers yet, and are looking to the community for their ideas and support. If you have a moment, please fill out our traffic and safety survey. We will continue to work with relevant SF agencies and the community to build the plan.
Reduce The Traffic
The Lower Great Highway and outer Avenues are used as thoroughfares to get north or south when the Great Highway is closed - which already happens 30% of the year! Park or not, we should funnel traffic trying to skip the neighborhood through commuter routes.
Cars on neighborhood streets should have to drive at neighborhood speeds. Pedestrians should feel safe crossing the avenues on the way to the park or the beach. Small changes like additional crosswalks and intersection daylighting can improve the safety.
Improve The Park
The park is already a fantastic place for recreation, and modest updates - trash cans, signage, and community installations like art pieces - are enough to make it world-class.
It should be easy to get to the park and enjoy it, whether you're taking public transportation, biking, running, or driving.
READ MORE BELOW.
REDUCE THE TRAFFIC
Did you know that the Lower Great Highway is a residential street that is used like a thoroughfare? In 2019 it carried half as many cars as the entire Great Highway! Why does it get so much traffic? People use it because it's fast. It shouldn't be.
Lincoln to Pacheco
Pacheco to Wawona
Cars favor the Lower Great Highway because it is fast: Seven out of fifteen intersections have no north-south stop signs. Cars have 2 blocks to reach unsafe speeds.
Reducing speed on this road will cause GPS systems to route cars to other faster roads that are built for commuting north-south.
Additional traffic reduction measures such as speed tables, medians, or reducing turns onto the Lower Great Highway or La Playa from Lincoln could further improve traffic conditions.
Cars on the outer Avenues often travel fast because they aren't here to visit - they're trying to get through the neighborhood as quickly as possible. Traffic calming measures will help, but we also want safer streets for pedestrians headed to the park or the beach.
Zero of the marked intersections have crosswalks. Every intersection deserves to be a place for park and beach-goers to safely cross.
Additional measures like daylighting and safety medians can also improve pedestrian safety. Some of these measures have been added recently on a portion of the Lower Great Highway, but more is required.
IMPROVE THE PARK
This long, flat, paved recreational space is already great - but it could be even better. A few simple changes would transform it.
A few light amenities could drastically improve usability of the park. These include water fountains and/or foot washing stations, trash and recycling bins, and places to safely lock bicycles.
It's important to make space for the variety of activities - some fast, some slow. Signage on the streets can help direct certain activities, like biking or scootering, to specific lanes. This allows kids to play freely in the "slow" lanes.
Art installations, kids games, graffiti, even a skatepark? There's a ton of space and a ton of options for bringing local neighborhood events, activities and cultures.
Everyone should be able to enjoy the park - the neighborhood and visitors from afar.
Biking will be a major form of transportation for park-goers. Corrals are an important aspect of encouraging visitors to both the beach and the park to bike.
The Outer Sunset is the last neighborhood on the list for bike, ebike and scooter share docks. Making it easy for people to head this way without relying on cars is critical - leaders in the district should encourage these type of options.
"Climate change and sea level rise hazards will have disproportionate impacts on communities with the least capacity to adapt...Access to cooler coastal temperatures will increasingly become a public health imperative for inland residents as the climate warms" - California Coastal Commission Environmental Justice Policy.
Hopefully many park visitors will choose alternative modes of transportation, but not all can. Parking needs to be considered, for both visitors and current residents.
The Ocean Beach Master Plan already proposed adding significant parking along Sloat, the Great Hwy Extension, as well as up Armory Road towards the Zoo (see 1.1, 1.6. 1.7). If this part of the plan is adopted, the southern end of the beach will provide significantly more parking than it does today.
Additional proposals are in the works to improve the northern lots. If necessary, end portions of the closed Great Highway could be repurposed for parking.
Ocean Beach Master Plan Figure V-7
As San Francisco and cities around the world make more spaces that are safe for people of all ages & abilities to travel without using a car - using bikes, ebikes, scooters, and transit - these park-goers cut down on total car trips. The park will encourage people to choose other modes. Each person that chooses an ebike instead of car, opens up car parking for those that need it most.