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High-Speed Rail

Roundup: Save JFK Again, Another HSR Milestone

11:08 AM PDT on August 22, 2022

Here are a few Streetsblog news nuggets to start your weekend.

Walk San Francisco begins campaign to save the JFK Promenade

Studies, years of pilots, hundreds of hours of testimony. Making the JFK Promenade permanent was supposed to have finally been decided last April when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to approve it. However, de Young Museum financier Dede Wilsey dropped $200,000 to fund a signature-gathering campaign to put the decision on the November ballot to get JFK turned back into a surface-level highway. The measure includes other retrograde, anti-bicycle-and-pedestrian moves. Walk San Francisco has launched a campaign to make sure the Promenade remains available for people using the park, not just motorists cutting through it.

From a Walk SF release on the campaign:

It’s true: the fate of car-free JFK must be decided – again – by the voters this fall. Very few people know yet that there’s now a ballot measure to take away this safe space for people in Golden Gate Park called Proposition I (so a big NO on Prop I). But there’s also now Proposition J (say hooray for Prop J to save JFK!). Proposition J would reaffirm the legislation that made JFK Promenade permanent in April – and make sure we don’t have to go to the ballot again on this issue. And on a related note, Proposition N would transfer the management of the overpriced, underutilized 800-space parking garage in Golden Gate Park to SF Rec and Park to better support equity and access. So we need to start getting the word out now to vote NO on I, YES on J, and YES on N. There are just 7 weeks until voters get their mail-in ballots, and eleven weeks until Election Day on November 8.

Streetsblog urges readers to get involved and help Walk SF protect the JFK Promenade.

High-speed rail environmental clearances done for Peninsula section

A rendering of an HSR overtaking Caltrain on the Peninsula
A rendering of an HSR overtaking Caltrain on the Peninsula

With over 100 miles under construction in the Central Valley, the California High-speed Rail Authority has continued working on getting legally required environmental clearances done at the bookends. The latest: the Peninsula section is now cleared and ready to go. From a California HSRA release:

The approval of the San Francisco to San Jose high-speed rail project section and its environmental document represents a major milestone in advancing the entire statewide program by linking the San Francisco Bay Area and the Peninsula to San Jose, the Central Valley, and Los Angeles County in Southern California. Connecting these major economic regions with high-speed rail will change how people travel throughout the state and foster more equitable employment and housing opportunities. The Board’s certification of the San Francisco to San Jose Final EIR/EIS and approval of its project section will move the project section closer to being “shovel ready” when funding for final design, pre-construction and construction becomes available.

Let's hope between ongoing state funds and the federal infrastructure bill, billions more will be coming so that as the Central Valley section is completed, the Pacheco Pass and Peninsula connection will be under construction (well, in a sense, the Peninsula section already is, with Caltrain's electrification project).

And anti-safety, anti-bike, pro-car Supervisor wants your help suggesting ways to make streets safer?

Photo: Michael Chen
Photo: Michael Chen

And lastly, it seems Supervisor Connie Chan doesn't get the irony of this Tweet, sent out Thursday:

Which brings us back to story #1, the new attempt to kill the JFK Promenade. Remember, Chan is the same Supervisor who led the charge to destroy the JFK Promenade at the Board of Supervisors last April. She was also instrumental in efforts to kill the Great Walkway and Slow Lake Street. That's probably why she got thoroughly ratioed on Twitter:

Screenshot from 2022-08-19 14-16-40

But sure, feel free to make your suggestions to Supervisor Chan. After all, the city really needs another $300,000 study on how to improve transit and make streets safe, right?

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