Tuesday, May 09, 2017

How to "get" the Octavia Blvd. fiasco

Construction workers were putting the finishing touches on the new Central Freeway offramp at the intersection of Octavia and Market Streets. They were removing barricades, landscaping, laying brick and cleaning the streets on Wednesday morning. San Francisco, California. Wednesday, September 7, 2005. Photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland/For The Chronicle Photo: Jessica Brandi Lifland/For The C
Creating the Octavia Blvd. expressway in 2005

Sometimes I enjoy Jim Herd's blog, especially when he does pictures like this. As an analyst of local issues, however, he's a pretty good photographer. 

Like his flawed account of the under-construction and future Masonic Avenue traffic fiasco a few years ago, he doesn't "get" why we have the ongoing Octavia Boulevard "disaster," either:

You know what a pigeon drop is? I sort of do, but I still don’t get it, not really. I’d be like, well, how is this going to work. And it was the same thing with the Octavia Boulevard disaster, which pitted a handful of landed millionaires of Hayes Valley against all the little people of the West Side. It went back and forth a few times, but the West Side lost and that’s how we ended up with the Octavia Boulevard disaster. Anyway, I never believed in it and I still don’t...

"Millionaires" versus "the little people"? In fact as I've pointed out over the years, the present Octavia Blvd. traffic fiasco was supported mostly by city progressives, though it took several elections and four ballot measures to get it done: the Bicycle Coalition, the Green Party, San Francisco Tomorrow, Calvin Welch and the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council, Jane Morrison, SPUR, John Burton, Art Agnos, Carole Migden, Tom Radulovich, the San Francisco Democratic Party, the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association, Robin Levitt, the Harvey Milk Club, and Walk San Francisco.

People of good will can disagree about whether rebuilding the Central Freeway overpass would have had worse consequences, but it's silly to continue denying that the new, unimproved Octavia Blvd. has had an awful impact on that part of town, which is gridlocked for most of the day with a lot of traffic that used to go over the Hayes Valley neighborhood on the Central Freeway: See John King's amen chorus: Norquist and Macdonald and "Healing" Hayes Valley with the Market and Octavia Neighborhood Plan.

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