The Great Highway Should Be Better, Not Bigger

San Francisco's Great Highway is losing great chunks of asphalt to the ocean. A new plan intends to change that.
May 7, 2017, 11am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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More than a hundred years ago, San Francisco built the Great Highway close to the Pacific Coast. Lamar Anderson argues that the city made a bad bet when it pitted the road against the tides. "The city has been paying for that naïveté ever since, in frequent closures on the Great Highway (at least 23 this fall and winter) and in chunks of asphalt, which are breaking off the roadway and parking lots along southern Ocean Beach as the waves undermine the highway," Anderson writes in San Francisco Magazine.

A new plan would narrow the highway to one lane in each direction and put a bike path in the new space. "The designs balance maintaining the road for as long as is feasible and mixing in recreational features, including a new coastal trail south of Sloat Boulevard," Anderson reports. But the plan represents more than an expansion of the city’s bike infrastructure. Anderson says: "The move is a belated acknowledgment that it’s the road that’s in the wrong place, not the ocean.”

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Published on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 in San Francisco Magazine
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