Golden Gate Park Supporters Win Approval of Coalition for San Francisco
Craig Dawson, Inner Sunset Merchant's Assoc.;
Joan Downey, Cole Valley Neighborhood Improvement Assoc.
FRANCISCO. Merchants, environmental groups, and representatives from a
broad range of neighborhood associations working to stop the proposed
widening of Martin Luther King Drive (MLK) in Golden Gate Park won a
decisive victory in their efforts to preserve Golden Gate Park on Tuesday.
MLK widening was the central issue at Tuesday's Coalition for SF
Neighborhoods meeting, where members considered two competing proposals.
At the end, park advocates prevailed, stated Evelyn Wilson, the Sunset
Parkside Education and Action Committee (SPEAK) representative.
president Barbara Meskunas said the membership voted 13-8 to oppose
entrance as currently planned, i.e. including the widening of MLK Drive.
CSFN did not vote to oppose a southern entrance to the garage.
illustrates a broad base of support across the city for opposing plans to
turn MLK Drive into a four-lane freeway into Golden Gate Park," stated
Craig Dawson, of the Inner Sunset Merchants Association.
proposal was submitted by Concourse Authority staffer Mike Ellzey. "Mr.
Ellzey's claim that only a handful of people oppose these plans does not
hold up when you consider the breadth and scope of the groups represented
in the coalition to stop the widening of MLK Drive," said Becky Evans, San
Francisco Group chair for the Sierra Club, whose organization alone boasts
over 10,000 members in San Francisco.
prominent opponents of the widening plan include the Inner Sunset
Merchant's Association, SF Council of District Merchants Associations,
Cole Valley Improvement Association, the Sunset District Neighborhood
Coalition, the Sierra Club, SF League of Conservation Voters, SF Tomorrow,
Sunset-Parkside Education and Action Committee (SPEAK), Haight Ashbury
Neighborhood Council, SF Bicycle Coalition, Rescue Muni, Walk SF,
Pedestrian Safety Advisory committee, the SF Green Party, and the CA
Outdoor Rollerskating Association.
development is the second major set back for the MCCP, the non-profit
organization overseeing the garage development. Earlier this year, the
Sunshine Task Force ruled that the Concourse Authority had violated San
Francisco's Sunshine Ordinance (Section 67.6f) at their November 16
meeting. This decision is now before the Ethics Commission for review.
Christensen of the San Francisco Council of District Merchant Associations
said, "The Sunshine Task force ruling reinforces our claim that the MCCP
are not acting in good faith and are not adequately serving the public in
their rush to get this controversial plan approved."