Kezar backups anger Inner Sunset residents

Some Inner Sunset drivers are growing increasingly frustrated with mounting traffic backups on Kezar Drive in Golden Gate Park.

The City reduced a stretch of the road near Alvord Bridge from three lanes to two in the fall of 2003 and closed off Waller Street — which residents used as a shortcut to get downtown — to through traffic.

The traffic has increased since the changes, according to resident Jason Terrance, who travels the road to work each morning. He said, during the early commute, cars are often backed up into the avenues, particularly Ninth Avenue.

The move was made as part of the Golden Gate Park Master Plan, a road map for the future development and maintenance of the park, but some residents are complaining that it causes long backups in the morning and evening rush hours and want to see The City add more lanes to the street.

“One of the things the master plan was [supposed to address] was the age-old problem of congestion throughout the park,” Recreation and Park Department spokeswoman Rose Marie Dennis said. “Some feel the outcome was worse than if they just left it alone. Some feel like if it wasn’t broken you shouldn’t have fixed it. Others felt we needed to make certain steps because the park should not be a vessel for major transportation to and from downtown.”

Maggie Lynch, spokeswoman for the San Francisco Transportation Authority, said some of the department’s planners have started looking at the possibility of adding a reversible lane on the bridge but it may not be feasible. The authority is responsible for construction on the road under the guidance of the Recreation and Park Department.

“The setup would be that the lane would be eastbound during the morning rush and westbound during evening rush,” she said. “We are not quite sure if it would be feasible yet there would be some complications to get there.”

Chris Duderstadt, a resident, submitted a proposal to The City this month calling for a 9-foot sidewalk on the westbound side of the bridge to be reduced to 2 feet, which he said would add enough space to add two lanes on the 58-foot-wide bridge. He said the traffic lanes would be 12 feet each and there would still be an 8-foot sidewalk on the eastern side of the bridge.

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