Great Highway Proposed Project
On July 26, 2022, District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar introduced legislation that would maintain the Great Highway between Lincoln Way and Sloat Boulevard as a car-free promenade on Friday afternoons, weekends, and holidays under a three-year pilot study.
The proposed three-year pilot study legislation will be heard by the Board of Supervisor’s Land Use and Transportation Committee in September 2022, and by the full Board of Supervisors for approval in October. If approved, the pilot study would go on until December 31, 2025. During the pilot study, City departments would collect and analyze data (i.e., visitor usage and traffic conditions) and gather public feedback before issuing a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors for consideration on the Great Highway’s long-term future.
Great Highway Extension and South Ocean Beach Climate Adaptation Project
The Great Highway Extension, which connects Skyline Boulevard and the Upper Great Highway, would close in the event of approval of the proposed South Ocean Beach Climate Change Adaptation Project, led by the SFPUC. The project will transform the public shoreline, improve coastal access north of Fort Funston with a new multi-use trail connecting Lake Merced and Fort Funston to Ocean Beach, the Zoo, and the Great Highway. The project will also protect vital municipal infrastructure from coastal erosion.
On April 4, 2020, San Francisco Public Works (DPW) closed the Upper Great Highway for standard sand removal maintenance. During that time, District 4 Supervisor Mar requested that the roadway remain closed to create the opportunity for safe, physically distant exercise during the remainder of the city emergency. Ultimately, the road was incorporated into part of the Slow Streets initiative, which continues as a temporary emergency response while San Francisco remains under a State-of-Emergency amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
On August 16, 2021, the Great Highway reopened to vehicular traffic during weekdays and closed for non-vehicle recreation during extended weekend hours.
Since then, we have been studying the use of the Great Highway by monitoring pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle traffic, which has given us a better understanding of how the Great Highway is used by residents and visitors. SFRPD uses a set of data sources to inform estimates of visitor counts. A pair of Eco-Counter sensors were installed along the roadway in September 2020, counting all visits on foot, bikes, scooters, skates, e-bikes, skateboards of all types and everything in between. It cannot count cars, buses, or trucks.