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Proposal to keep Great Highway car-free on weekends until 2025

The Great Highway along the ocean in San Francisco is filled with bikers and pedestrians, closed for 4 hours in August 2009.
Art Siegel
Flickr / Creative Commons
The Great Highway devoid of cars, San Francisco

The Great Highway borders San Francisco’s western coast, stretching about four miles down Ocean Beach. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the four-lane-wide roadway has transformed on weekends and holidays into a completely vehicle-free promenade – between Lincoln Way and Sloat Boulevard. This was an effort to provide space for safe and socially distanced public recreation.

From April 2020 to May 2022, the scenic hub has seen more than two million visitors.

Supervisor Gordon Mar introduced legislation Tuesday that would preserve this current closure setup under a three-year pilot study, while the city studies its road use.

This new pilot for the Great Highway is just one of many recommended changes from the Ocean Beach Master Plan, developed by the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association. It is part of a managed retreat from the coastline in response to rising sea levels.

If approved by the Board of Supervisors, the ordinance would maintain the highway as a promenade until December 31, 2025.

Sunday is a news producer for Crosscurrents' summer training program.