Appeal staffer Matt Baume took a walk in the Presidio yesterday, and took some pictures of the newlycalmed traffic.

A car turns around while a bicyclist zooms by


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He reports: “I heard lots of whining from people who cut through the Presidio in their cars. People on bikes, on buses, and who use their legs were delighted. It’s not a closure, it’s an opening.”

Between this and today’s similarly 28 Days Laterish empty Great Highway, and you start to see why the folks at Streetsblog get the way they get. Streets without cars are surprisingly fun!

Here’s a panorama from behind the Disney museum


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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • bloomsm

    Great, more ways the Powers That Be can think of to make life more inconvenient for ordinary San Franciscans who are trying to go about the simple task of living their daily lives. God forbid we should upset the fragile sensibilities of those who live in the Presidio. I mean, it’s not like it’s in a city or anything…..

    I’d like to ask the bicyclists and the public trans advocates about the traffic solution for those who somehow have to get multiple children to school and still get to work on time, in a City that sends children to whatever school the SFUSD sees fit (i.e. across town), but provides no school buses for said children to get to school. We use cars. There, I said it out loud.

    I guess what I’d like to know is, no one makes any attempt to “calm” traffic in my neighborhood. Why do the residents of the Presidio get to pretend they live in Marin County?

  • bloomsm

    Great, more ways the Powers That Be can think of to make life more inconvenient for ordinary San Franciscans who are trying to go about the simple task of living their daily lives. God forbid we should upset the fragile sensibilities of those who live in the Presidio. I mean, it’s not like it’s in a city or anything…..

    I’d like to ask the bicyclists and the public trans advocates about the traffic solution for those who somehow have to get multiple children to school and still get to work on time, in a City that sends children to whatever school the SFUSD sees fit (i.e. across town), but provides no school buses for said children to get to school. We use cars. There, I said it out loud.

    I guess what I’d like to know is, no one makes any attempt to “calm” traffic in my neighborhood. Why do the residents of the Presidio get to pretend they live in Marin County?

  • Matt Baume

    Everyone, out of the way! You there, move to the side. Blooms has somewhere to be, and he doesn’t like to wait. Clear a path immediately.

  • Matt Baume

    Everyone, out of the way! You there, move to the side. Blooms has somewhere to be, and he doesn’t like to wait. Clear a path immediately.

  • cedichou

    @Blooms, maybe my experience with the school district is lucky, but if you insist, you get what you want. Plus, with sibling priority, all kids go to the same school. And most schools provide free school bus.

  • cedichou

    @Blooms, maybe my experience with the school district is lucky, but if you insist, you get what you want. Plus, with sibling priority, all kids go to the same school. And most schools provide free school bus.

  • bloomsm

    @Baume: brilliant rejoinder but my post had nothing to do with speeding. The Presidio is the last place I would speed, because it’s not safe. My point is that cutting off thoroughfares has a traffic cost in other areas of the city, areas that don’t receive treatment equal to the Presidio. Why don’t we talk about traffic calming measures on Sunset Blvd, or around Lake Merced, on the Great Highway, or 3rd Street?

  • bloomsm

    @Baume: brilliant rejoinder but my post had nothing to do with speeding. The Presidio is the last place I would speed, because it’s not safe. My point is that cutting off thoroughfares has a traffic cost in other areas of the city, areas that don’t receive treatment equal to the Presidio. Why don’t we talk about traffic calming measures on Sunset Blvd, or around Lake Merced, on the Great Highway, or 3rd Street?

  • Matt Baume

    I would be delighted to calm traffic on every single street in the city. The Presidio is a good place to focus, since the surface streets here are relatively calm already. But there are plenty of other calming efforts underway elsewhere in the city as well — the BRT on Geary and Van Ness, median upgrades on Diviz, bulbouts in West Portal, SFgo signal timing all over the place, etc.

    It’s an incremental process, and it would be nice if it was more aggressive and widespread.

    I get that, as traffic is calmed, it will take a bit more time to get around town; and if you have a lot of kids or a lot of destinations, it is way more comfortable and convenient to drive than to take a bus. I think that moving a little bit more slowly is a fair tradeoff for the added comfort and convenience of using a car.

    Just for the sake of comparison: my commute to work on the 43 takes 30 minutes. If I drove, it would take 8. I would love to have an 8-minute commute, but owning a car in San Francisco is like keeping a Saint Bernard in a studio apartment — unless you absolutely need it, it’s a pretty inefficient use of space and resources.

  • Matt Baume

    I would be delighted to calm traffic on every single street in the city. The Presidio is a good place to focus, since the surface streets here are relatively calm already. But there are plenty of other calming efforts underway elsewhere in the city as well — the BRT on Geary and Van Ness, median upgrades on Diviz, bulbouts in West Portal, SFgo signal timing all over the place, etc.

    It’s an incremental process, and it would be nice if it was more aggressive and widespread.

    I get that, as traffic is calmed, it will take a bit more time to get around town; and if you have a lot of kids or a lot of destinations, it is way more comfortable and convenient to drive than to take a bus. I think that moving a little bit more slowly is a fair tradeoff for the added comfort and convenience of using a car.

    Just for the sake of comparison: my commute to work on the 43 takes 30 minutes. If I drove, it would take 8. I would love to have an 8-minute commute, but owning a car in San Francisco is like keeping a Saint Bernard in a studio apartment — unless you absolutely need it, it’s a pretty inefficient use of space and resources.