Ocean Beach Master Plan meeting Thursday at Ortega Library
The Ortega Branch Library will host a community meeting Thursday night about the Ocean Beach Master Plan, an effort to bring together Ocean Beach’s diverse array of users and management agencies on a common path, to improve the beach experience for users and to address the challenges of increasing erosion and rising sea levels.
Supervisor Carmen Chu’s office is sponsoring the meeting, which is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the library, at 38th Avenue and Ortega Street. While the master plan looks at the entire beach, Thursday’s meeting will focus on traffic changes that planners say might make it easier to protect the Great Highway and the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant from erosion.
Because Ocean Beach faces big challenges, the Ocean Beach Master Plan considers some big changes. Among them is a draft proposal to close the Great Highway south of Sloat Boulevard and reroute southbound traffic around the east side of the San Francisco Zoo. The City installed a rock revetment to protect that part of the Great Highway, but the revetment has been controversial and the California Coastal Commission blocked the City from installing additional coastal “armor” unless the City developed a long-term plan to address erosion there.
When that stretch of the Great Highway was closed in 2009 due to severe erosion from high waves and winter storms, traffic followed a similar detour. Planners say that while that caused some traffic problems, the proposed reroute would be accompanied by other changes that may avoid those issues.
Other traffic changes contemplated in the Ocean Beach Master Plan include reducing the number of lanes on the Great Highway to two, extending the L-Taraval Muni line across Sloat Boulevard with a terminal at the zoo, and closing some parking areas and building new ones for visitors to both the beach and the zoo.
The San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association is coordinating the Ocean Beach Master Plan, with participation from City, state and federal agencies as well as a community advisory board. The official public comment period on the draft Ocean Beach Master Plan closes Wednesday, Nov. 23.
Editor’s Note: Tom Prete worked at SPUR from April 2006 to October 2007, managing the think tank’s publications. He did copy-editing work for SPUR on a freelance basis from October 2007 to June 2011. He was never involved in SPUR policy matters.