Monday, December 17, 2007

Only the bike people opposed the garage

In last Sunday's much-deserved bouquet John King threw to the transformation of the Concourse in Golden Gate Park, he only notes in passing the remarkable controversy over the underground garage:

The garage sparked opposition, including lawsuits that in 2004 brought construction to a halt. Critics ignored the overall benefits and focused on details such as alterations to the pedestrian tunnels leading into the bowl, or the supposed sacrilege of tucking a garage inside a park. But now that everything is in place, the ensemble works great.

Exactly who was it that opposed the garage under the Concourse? Who thought it was "sacrilege" to put a garage in the park? Even though it was a $55 million gift to the city, it was only the city's bike people who fought the garage bitterly from the start---and continued to fight it in court long after city voters passed Propostion J in 1998 authorizing its construction.

For the historical context of the opposition to the garage, click on "Concourse Garage" below.

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At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the opposition makes sense to me. why invite more cars into the park?

Good for the bike people.

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

It only "makes sense" if you know nothing about the issue, which seems to be your condition. The cars were already in the park. In fact, there were 200 parking spaces on the Concourse itself, which made it much like a parking lot. Those 200 parking spaces are now gone, along with 600 other parking spaces in the park, to match the 800 spaces in the underground garage. Instead of driving around looking for a parking spaces, motorists---people with families, older people, the handicapped, etc.---can now drive right into the garage for easy access to the de Young museum and that part of Golden Gate Park. The bike people opposed the garage only because they hate anything that makes it convenient to drive in the city. An important part of 1998's Prop. J is to ensure people convenient access to the park and its many attractions around the Concourse.


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