SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In less than two weeks San Francisco's Great Highway will reopen to cars but only on the weekdays. It will remain closed for half of Friday, weekends, and holidays.
The stretch between Lincoln Way and Sloat Boulevard was closed during the pandemic to create an open space for cyclists and pedestrians. That move has been a controversial one, with critics on both sides. Bicyclists, walkers, and runners praised the closure and hoped to make it permanent.
The initial reaction to Thursday's announcement of a partial reopening was a negative one from bicyclists and walkers.
"I thought you were kidding me!" said John Bradley of San Francisco.
"My initial reaction was pretty mad!" said Emily Horsman.
"I'm just really sad, Goldberg loves The Great Highway!" said Sarah Katz-Hyman, referring to her dog.
The Great Highway has been closed since April of 2020. It was part of the city's response to the pandemic and the need for social distancing. Since that time, there was a push to keep it closed due to the popularity of the road and the spectacular views of the ocean.
Many neighbors have complained that traffic has been rerouted through side streets. They say getting anywhere takes an extra 20 to 30 minutes and there has been concerns over emergency vehicles getting places. We asked neighbors if this compromise of five days open and two days closed is a win.
"My emotions today are a relief since we've had such an onslaught of unbelievable traffic since the highway closed," said Judi Gorski who has been pushing for a full reopening. Her husband, Stephen, agreed saying, "I'm happy today but it's just the beginning."
The Great Highway will fully reopen on August 16th. It will then close every Friday at 12 p.m. and open back up at 6 a.m. on Monday. The San Francisco mayor's office said this is not a long-term solution but one that officials say aligns with the reopening of the city and the upcoming reopening of schools.